Deaf Havana frontman to shine in charity gig in King’s Lynn

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The last few tickets are on sale now for Deaf Havan’s gig but the Lynn News also has two waiting to be won to see James Veck-Gilodi return to his roots for this special performance.

Fresh from touring the US and just before his return to Lynn, our reporter, Lucy Ruthnum, caught up with James ahead of the gig to talk about why he is keen to support the charity.

Lucy You’ve just returned from touring America and the UK, how did the tour go? Any particular highlights?

James We have indeed! America was extremely hard towards the end, a lot of travelling and not a lot of people at the shows. However California was beautiful and Nashville was amazing because I met up with a friend of mine and needless to say, drank too much. The UK tour in general was a pretty welcome reminder that people actually do care about us, but the London shows in particular were amazing!

Lucy Now going from playing huge concerts to Lynn Arts Centre, what are you looking forward to about playing a smaller concert for those who have supported you from the start?

James I love playing smaller venues because it’s so much more intimate, you can see the whites of people’s eyes and really connect with people more. I love playing acoustically too so that should be great.

Lucy What can fans expect from your solo gig? Will you be playing any new material?

James I can certainly be persuaded to play some new stuff but I think mainly well-known songs and a few covers perhaps.

Lucy Do you like performing solo and what is your favourite song to perform alone?

James I have performed solo a few times and it’s always amazing, and in terms of my favourite song, well that always changes. Pretty much whichever song gets the biggest sing along.

Lucy How did you first get involved with the charity West Norfolk Mind and why did you want to help by playing the fundraising concert?

James Throughout my school years I lived in the middle of nowhere in Scotland, Derbyshire and then Norfolk at the age of 11, so it was a very isolated time growing up. Luckily my guitar helped me through that, but I had no idea that there was the kind of support that West Norfolk Mind provide available. So this concert is about raising the awareness of what they do and how they can help people that feel alone and isolated. I also suffer from severe anxiety and frequent panic attacks, which are crippling sometimes, so West Norfolk Mind is definitely something I connect with greatly.

Lucy Why do you think the work of West Norfolk Mind is important?

James Because mental health, whatever it may be, is a problem that I think often gets overlooked. For instance in my experience, many people do not realise the severity and seriousness of depression and anxiety so it’s so important that a charity like West Norfolk Mind is there to aid people and give the necessary support.

Lucy What are you and the boys up to for the rest of the summer? And what festivals can we catch the whole band at?

James We’re playing the Main Stage at Reading and Leeds and a few European festivals. A lot of the summer will, for me, be spent writing and demoing for new stuff!

With just one week until the gig and tickets selling fast, the team at West Norfolk Mind are thrilled to have the support of James, particularly after hearing about his own experiences.

Zena Penty, Volunteer Co-ordinator said, “West Norfolk Mind are absolutely delighted James has chosen to support us. I have seen James and the band play many times and his lyrics often relate to times when his confidence was low or he felt vulnerable.

“Many young people feel the same and we want to help them access every opportunity to improve their mental wellbeing in West Norfolk through our Building Resilience Project, the NHS Wellbeing Service and Early Intervention Team.”

Desperate for tickets to see James perform in Lynn? You could be in with a chance of winning two tickets for the gig by tweeting “@westnorfolkmind James”. A winner will be chosen at random and contacted directly.