Deaf Havana boys promise solo surprises at Heacham gig

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Tickets are selling quickly for a Heacham gig that will see Deaf Havana stars James Veck-Gilodi and Max Britton taking to the stage in their new solo project.

The pair will be embarking on a 10-date nationwide tour in January, just weeks after completing a UK tour with Deaf Havana, but West Norfolk fans can get an early preview of what is to come

Heacham Sports and Social Club will host a special gig on Saturday, December 6, when fans can get a taste for the new sound, with promises of some extra surprises for their hometown fans.

Our entertainment reporter, Lucy Ruthnum, caught up with James, pictured left, ahead of the gig for a chat about the new project.

Lucy: Can you tell us a bit more about your new solo project? What can fans of Deaf Havana expect from it?

James: It’s something I have wanted to do for a very long time, I’ve always envisaged myself playing this kind of music so for me it was always going to happen, just a question of when. The project is myself and Max, who plays keys in Deaf Havana. He is an unbelievable songwriter and it opens everything up to be much more creative in terms of adding more instrumental parts and vocal harmonies.

L: What is the new sound like – reminiscent of the band or completely different? Has it been inspired by any other artists?

J: I guess it’s similar lyrically to Deaf Havana but musically it’s much more basic, very acoustic based with elements of country and folk too. I’ve taken a lot of influence from country music artists that I love such as Jason Isbell and Noah Gundersen, along with loads of other music I love and have wanted to play for years.

L: What has sparked the solo move? Has the 10-date tour meant taking a break from the band?

J: I guess it’s a little break from the band musically, just another creative outlet for us. But Deaf Havana is still going strong and we’ll start working on new material at some point next year.

L: Has the project been a long-time coming? What made you guys want to work on a solo project and are you excited to share it with fans?

J: It has just been something that I have wanted to do for years, I was always going to do it at some point. I’ve had a few songs written for a while, it was just a case of when I could start this. I guess just as a break from a band scenario, it can become a bit much at times. It’s nice to have a bit of control. I can’t wait for people to hear more songs, as we’ve only released one so far. I’m very excited to play our hometown show in Heacham in December, that’s going to be a little different to the shows on the tour and there will be a few extra surprises for sure.

L: What was the reaction like at the first solo gig in London - how did it feel to perform just the two of you?

J: Actually great, as the people attending didn’t know any songs it was always going to be a bit strange but I was blown away by how polite and appreciative the audience were.

L: Holes is the first track from this project – what inspired the song? How would you describe the sound for those who haven’t heard it yet?

J: Yes it is, I guess it’s kind of up beat folk music, a little like Mumford and Sons I suppose. The idea behind the lyrics came from my underlying resentment for people who grew up with money, intelligence and more privileges than I had I guess, it’s not to be taken totally seriously because it is my fault for never actually doing anything and just wallowing in self pity. I wrote the lyrics in a kind of light hearted manner.

L: Your 10-date tour will follow the Deaf Havana tour with Lonely The Brave - how do you think it will compare?

J: I think it will be a lot more chilled out and less stressful. I can’t wait for that side of it, Deaf Havana is quite a large scale operation there’s normally about 10 of us on the road together in our touring party, where as when me and Max tour there will just be three of us. For me, the simplicity of it will be the best thing.

n The pair will be supported on the night by Cambridge singer-songwriter Dan Austin and Dersingham funk-rockers Genuine Fake. With less than 50 tickets left, organisers are not expecting any to be available on the door. Get yours now by going to www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/147945