Sunday, 17 July 2011

Havana Gila. Deaf Havana spread the word in the Parish of Kingston.

Deaf Havana*****
Not Advised*****
The First*****

The Peel, Kingston
Friday 15th July 2011

Dear Brother...We are gathered here today...

Outside the Peel secreted deep within the anus of Kingston, the event board proudly boasted ‘SOLD OUT’.

And judging by the number of hipsters and scene kids milling around outside, this was one of the hottest tickets around. And hot was an apposite word. A humid, sweaty evening was not necessarily ideal to be crammed into a microwave of a venue packed with hordes of sweaty, Cider-swilling loons. But it was well worth braving the sauna.

The First *****
First up were a band, apparently called ‘The First’. A young scene band with a bleached blond singer who conjoured up a predictable, derivative but competent sound. Nothing new or too exciting. But alright. Just alright.

Not Advised*****
As the Southampton-based 5 piece hit the tiny stage, it was clear from the start we’d moved up a gear. Jim Thomas, their charismatic Rou Reynolds-a-like frontman was all swagger and confidence. The sound was tight and complex without being too muso or shoe gazing. Big catchy sing-a-longs and fist pumping choruses kept the assembled pack hooked and throwing themselves around I the steamy oven.

There was more than a nod to Funeral For A Friend, The Blackout and even mid-era Lost Prophets. So much so that I think a visit to is in order to check for Welsh lineage. Isn’t it.

Apart from Thomas’s voice hitting obvious limits and falling a wee bit short on certain stretches for the big notes, they were really polished and accomplished with good licks, counterpoint and a smattering of semi-breakdowns and drops. Lively and engaging. I’m sure as they mature, bigger tunes and hooks will be forthcoming, but, all round it was a great effort which was greedily gulped down by the sweating, moshing masses.

Veck-Gilodi...Not the Messiah, just a very naughty boy.

Deaf Havana*****
From the minute the diminutive, bespectacled Mr Veck-Gilodi swanned on stage to twang his banjo for the soundcheck, it was clear that the crowd transformed. It transmuted from an enthusiastic youthful throng of acolytes into a lusty, excited, worshipping congregation of apostles. With Veck-Gilodi as their Messiah.

I've seen the light...Halleluliah!

They kicked off to huge acclaim with Smiles all round. Every word sung back by the mini Songs of Praise devotees. The temperature rose as did the level of performance and we were definitely in the presence of something almost divine.

Josh Franceschi, fresh from trench foot from the soaking at Sonisphere was among the adoring masses there to witness what his support act was going to serve up on their upcoming tour. And he must’ve been impressed.

The set gathered pace, with the relaxed wee frontman narrating comfortably and engagingly between numbers from his pulpit. New tunes were given an airing and some re-jigged older ones slowed down and tinkered with. And, despite not the cleanest or most pristine of sound, the Apostles tucked in voraciously to the offering throwing themselves around and walking on the waters of the adoring crowd.

Please turn to page 386 in the hymn book. You Know you're right.
The quasi-religious fervour never abated and descended into a demonic sulphurous Hadean mass of thrusting limbs and hellish debauchery. There was even a grunge Hymn belted out: a meaty cover of Nirvana’s You Know You’re Right, which went way over the heads of most of the young uns at the front but was terrific.

Things all wrapped up predictably with the anthemic and always captivating Nicotine And Alcohol Saved My Life. Veck-Gilodi hardly had to utter a word – that was all taken care of by the assembled worhippers. But it was an emotional and fitting end to an electrically charged and bloody enjoyable evening.


The absolutely Fantastic Arcane Roots and an acoustic evening with Sam Duckworth up next.

More tunes soon. Bwoooar!

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