Video: Hunstanton Pier - watch Norfolk band’s tribute to seaside town as it prepares to jet off to Japan

PUBLISHED: 07:59 10 October 2012 | UPDATED: 12:00 10 October 2012

From left;  Lee Wilson, James Veck-Gilodi, Tom Ogden and Chris Pennells of Deaf Havana. Picture: Tom Barnes.

From left; Lee Wilson, James Veck-Gilodi, Tom Ogden and Chris Pennells of Deaf Havana. Picture: Tom Barnes.


Rock fans on the other side of the world will hear of the delights of being a teenager in the Fens, when an up and coming band from King’s Lynn take to the stage in Japan.

"Lee and me were schooled in a tourist town, with less culture than Jeremy Kyle"

James Veck-Gilodi, from Deaf Havana

Deaf Havana have taken off for a whistle-stop tour of the land of the rising sun, before heading across the Pacific to Australia.

The band, formed when its original members met at the College of West Anglia’s Lynn campus, in 2005, are being tipped for stardom after releasing an album hailed as “brutally, beautifully honest”.

Manager Jamie Osman said: “They’re local lads, they’re from King’s Lynn. The whole record is all about that area and what it was like growing up there.

“When I started working with the band they were playing to 50 people in a pub. Two years later we’ve sold 25,000 records, it’s been an amazing journey for the lads.

“They’re off to Japan to tour for 10 days, then Australia so it all feels good.”

The Far East tour comes after the band opened on the main stage at Reading Rock with an acoustic set and also performed at Leeds Festival.

Deaf Havana’s album Fools and Worthlesss Liars topped the rock album charts after it was released in November 2011. The band are due to release a re-mixed version which they say is closer to their musical roots.

Guitar teacher Andy Graham taught band members James Veck-Gilodi and Lee Wilson at the now-defunct East Coast Music shop at Hunstanton, while they were still teenagers attending the town’s Smithdon High School.

“They just played in front of 26,000 people at Reading and however many it was at Leeds,” he said. “James’s song writing is of a very high calibre, if he can build on that they have every chance of going all the way.

“I taught James for many years. Of all the hundreds of students I’ve taught, I’ve always seen James as one of those people who have a natural gift for playing the guitar.

“They’re all nice guys but they’re great musicians as well. A lot of people in rock and pop don’t know one end of a guitar from another.”

Veck-Gilodi (rhythm guitar and vocals) and Wilson (bass) are joined by Chris Pennells (lead guitar) and Tom Ogden (drums). Matty Veck-Gilodi joins the band on tour as a third guitarist and backing singer.

Songs about growing up in West Norfolk are blunt, sometimes bawdy and to the point. In Hunstanton Pier, Veck-Gilodi sings of the town: “Lee and me were schooled in a tourist town, with less culture than Jeremy Kyle, but it stole our hearts for a while.”

Nelson’s County highlights dead end streets and being in a rut, while The Past Six Years includes the album’s title as its chorus:

“We are sick and we are tired

“We’re all fools and worthless liars

“Young and unemployable

“Lonely, drunk and beautiful

“We are sick and we’re so tired.

“So tired.”

Band members could not be contacted as they prepared to set off on tour. Earlier, Veck-Gilodi said of his songs: “The simplicity of these songs is because these are the first lyrics I‘ve ever written, and that’s all I can do. I didn’t force it, no metaphors, just honesty.”

Deaf Havana will be appearing at the UEA on Thursday, November 15 (7pm). Box Office 01603 508050.

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