Live: Havanas – Leeds

H2N Editor Adam is right when he highlights that Sheffield band Sheafs are so on point at the moment it is only a matter of time before they take over the world. My 4th experience of Sheafs live (at Leeds Oporto this time), once again blew me away, but the evening also saw young local Leeds band Havanas tear the stage apart with their opening set of the evening.

I was looking forward to seeing these local Leeds guys Havanas as I had heard on the ground they were ones to watch. In truth, there was a slightly hesitant opening for the lads as it felt they may have fallen heavily into a vat of Arctic Monkeys, but it wasn’t long before our guys got into their stride and revealed a harder heart which beat echoes of the likes of Royal Blood, The Cribs and I picked up a huge beautiful stonking slice of raw Iggy and the Stooges complete with their style of jaunty and confidently nonchalant heavy guitar work.

The Havanas trio are still learning their craft, but there was a consistent heavy sound with a good level of complexity to the songs, and with each track having a pleasing variation. The track Vinyl Heart was a real Iggy fest, while She’s My Heroin had a pleasing rolling Primal Scream/Stones vibe to it. By the end of the 30 minute set these guys were well hot and rolling.

Vocally, Carter Burnell has a strong and expressive raw rock voice and his guitar work has a good control and I appreciated the extra effort to take the song up from the standard, while the muscular bass of Daniel Duszczak and strong consistent and crisp beat of Kian Hegarty belies the tender years of these guys (17).

We had a very brief chat with the guys after the set and they seemed genuinely surprised and a little abashed at how much we had rated their performance. While the guys were clearly enjoying themselves on stage, that modesty and a little reticence came across during the performance and I couldn’t help but think given they are that good, just a little more swagger and confidence in the set would help bring the band across to their audience a little more easily. As it was, Havanas certainly found new friends that evening, and quite a few of the people around me were saying how banging they were.

Havanas are another local indie band of young teens who help nail the lie that guitar music is dying; they can only grow and develop into 2019. Look out for them.

Chris R

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