July 16, 2024

Deaf Havana & The LaFontaines – Manchester Albert Hall – 25/03/19

Formed in Kings Lynn, Norfolk in 2005 Deaf Havana have come a long way since first appearing on my radar around the time their first studio album was released in late 2009. It now feels a lifetime ago and a long way from their current more mainstream sound, its changed drastically over the years -for the better in my opinion but that early album still sits within my record collection and looking around at the age variation in the crowd at the Albert Hall I am not alone.

Supported by Hot Milk (who I missed thanks to the ever painful Manchester traffic) and The Lafontaines (who have now gained another fan) are akin to a modern Glaswegian Beastie Boys or Linkin Park and it works, it really works, if you do one thing today – go and give them a listen.

The LaFontaines are loudly welcomed to the stage, front-man Kerr Okan has endless energy as he bounds about the venue – a man who really knows how to mobilise the crowd. I’m looking forward to seeing more from these guys and hopefully catching up with them in Manchester this summer.

Deaf Havana stray away from the latest album to open the show with Fever from the 2017 album All These Countless Nights, leading straight into a mind blowing performance of the solid crowd favourite of Mildred from 2013.

While the set list was made up of predominantly newer songs, they managed to mix in a few classics from the past, including Hunstanton Pier and Leeches, If I’m honest I was a little disappointed we didn’t get to hear ‘Little White Lies’ but this didn’t make the night any less enjoyable. Even with them now being a 4 piece band after loosing two members in recent times Deaf Havana dominated that stage for every moment they were up there, with James showing his gratitude to the crowd for allowing them the success they’ve had, they’ve worked hard and absolutely deserve to be there.

Returning to the stage for one last performance the track of choice is Sinner, the crowd bounce off James’ vocals with perfection, the floor shuddering to the pounding of feet, I hoped it wouldn’t end.

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