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Deaf Havana: “It’s always exciting to air new material…”

This weekend (29th April – 1st May), Upset will be teaming up with Handmade Festival. It’s going to be Bloody Well Amazing, obviously. Dozens of our favourite bands will be playing the bank holiday event in Leicester, including The Xcerts, The Magic Gang, Three Trapped Tigers, Cassels and Swim Deep, while our very own Upset stage is topped with Deaf Havana. The band’s frontman Matthew Veck-Gilodi fills us in on the follow up to 2013’s ‘Old Souls’, and what fans can expect from their set.

How are the fourth album sessions going?
They’re going great so far, we’re incredibly excited to show everyone what we’ve got going on. It’s definitely different from a lot of the music we’ve released before, but it’s probably the best so far. We can’t wait for everyone to hear it.

Can we expect some new material at Handmade, especially considering it’s one of just two (current) UK dates in 2016?
It’s always exciting to air new material so I reckon it’d be fair to say you could expect a little something…

Playing with, amongst others, Lonely The Brave who you’ve toured with before, does the camaraderie make shows like this more memorable than say a solo headline tour?
It’s just so much fun, everyone is there for a one off and you’re getting to hang out with people who you most likely haven’t seen for the best part of a year, so you end up having great catch ups, a fair bit of reminiscing and the occasional drink too.

Any other acts you’re hoping to catch at the festival?
We can’t wait to see Lonely The Brave live again as they’re one of our favourite bands in the UK and a great live band too. I’m gutted because I think that we’re on stage at the same time as The Xcerts – and they are also one of the best bands in the UK. If you don’t fancy watching us, then do yourselves a favour and catch those guys – they’re great.

Any thoughts on the festival circuit and the “where are the new headliners?” debate?
It’s always an interesting one because you do see so the same bands headlining the same sort of festivals so many times, so I love it when you get something like Reading & Leeds have done this year and have two of the days with co-headliners on the MainStage, to give four new artists a crack at it. I think it’s very important that bands on the cusp, or who are stepping up to that huge level are given the chance to have a go at being a “headliner”, instead of just settling for the same old bands rotating the headline slots every couple of years.

What is it about small festivals such as Handmade that makes them so integral to both the local and national music scene, do you think?
They’re really important in bringing bands of a decent size to cities and towns that they might not necessarily come to otherwise. And just to have that volume of bands and genres of music anywhere is great for anyone who’s interested.

Are there any major differences when dealing with a smaller festival, than say a larger one like Reading & Leeds?

For a start, it’s so much easier to get to and from the different stages and catch all the different bands you want to see. On top of that there’s less mud generally speaking, which I’m sure some people love, but I can take it or leave it. You also tend to get a great atmosphere, because none of the atmosphere from the crowd gets lost like it can do on some of the huge stages

Any future tour plans for the UK, warm up shows for new material etc?

Well I can’t say anything quite yet, so just make sure to keep your eyes and ears open.

Interview: Steven Loftin.

Catch Deaf Havana at Handmade Festival this Saturday, 30th April.

O2 Academy 2 (Queens Hall) – in association with Upset

Speaking In Italics – 15:15
Cleft – 16:15
Crows – 17:15
Weirds – 18:15
Kagoule – 19:15
Lonely The Brave – 20:15
Deaf Havana – 22:00