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Live Review: Deaf Havana, There For Tomorrow and Me Vs Hero - Relentless Garage, London - 6/11/2010

A chilly night in North London isn’t aided by the fact that the doors to Highbury’s Relentless Garage open a full hour later than planned, leaving the line outside the venue tinged with a sense of disgruntled impatience.

However, it would take a lot more than a spot of autumn queuing to put off those in attendance tonight. Deaf Havana are growing in stature at a frightening pace, despite not having had the easiest path to this juncture in their musical journey, with line up changes blighting their progression over the last year or so. Now, with a sense of stability allowing the now 4-piece to move on, a joint headline tour with American Cruiserweights There for Tomorrow seems a perfect way to sign off on 2010.

Me Vs Hero are already blasting out their brand of pop-punk fused light-hardcore as the building slowly fills. The quintet give a decent enough account off themselves, arousing the crowd’s interest in fits and starts, but never really fully taking control over proceedings. “The Days That Shape Our Lives” sounds the bands most accomplished track, sugary sweet melodies and rifling guitars making for a cheerfully potent sound that is warmly received.

There for Tomorrow bring to the stage something that many acts would kill for. You get the feeling watching the Orlando quartet that you’re watching something unique. Something scripted, practised, yet entirely natural, every performance different from that last. Maika Maile takes to the role of front man like a duck to Hoisin, propelling his own infectious passion for music with every note, an endearing trait much lacking in many acts on the scene. Their set is crafted delightfully, encompassing extended intros and outros, crowd interaction and a straight rock performance that allows tracks like “A Little Faster”, “Sore Winner” and “Deathbed” to really make an impression, on this, just their second ever date in the Capital.

But tonight belongs entirely to Kings Lynn’s finest, Deaf Havana. It’s a sign of the excitement surrounding Deaf Havana that venue is littered with members of various bands on the UK scene. Anyone wondering whether the move from five members back to four, screamer Ryan Mellor now absent, would detract from their sound were, on this showing at least, mistaken. With James Veck-Gilodi very much taking the reins, Deaf Havana have honed their sound, it sounds cleaner, yet still maintains that edge that drew interest in the band in the first place. The atmosphere created by the emotionally charged ‘You Are Beautiful’ sets the standard for the rest of the set, the title being sung back at the stage in complete unison. “Another Day in This House” evokes a fireball of frenzied movement in the pit, whilst newer offerings “Smiles All Round” and “My Life Is Average” spark the same levels of enthusiasm as any of the tracks from 2009’s “Meet Me Halfway, At Least”. Closer “Friends Like These”, arguably their most well known track, powers their set to it’s climax, a post-hardcore gem that the band enjoy performing just as much as the crowd enjoy hearing.

It would seem that the storm is over for Deaf Havana, and with the follow up to their debut on the horizon, a quickly growing fan base and most importantly off all, talent in abundance, it shouldn’t be too long before they cement their place as one of the big hitters on the UK scene.

Liam McGarry

Alter The Press!