Gig Review

Deaf Havana
The Swellers, Dangerous Summer
Birmingham, Academy 2
18th April 2012

Deaf Havana             The Swellers            Dangerous Summer


Photo Of Dangerous Summer © Copyright James DalyIt's a cold wet night in Birmingham, but tonight there are 3 great up and coming bands to check out at the academy 2. For once there are no cues as sensibly the first band starts 45 minutes after doors open so everyone can get inside and not miss a thing. After walking into the room, you can tell it’s going to be a fun night as its already hot and with people ready to rock.

Dangerous Summer are first up, but unfortunately all the band are missing! Only singer/guitarist AJ Perdomo is here, so instead of pulling out on the opening night of the tour he's decided to do an unplugged set. He looks rather nervous as he's on his own and normally he’d have is band mates for support. The room watches him in silence as he goes through a mish mash of a set list that would probably be amazing if he had a band with him. It sounds a bit off for the first few songs, but its gets good though, when he changes to an acoustic guitar as it’s clean and clear and powerful. It isn’t the best but he has got balls to go it alone, so you have to give him that! I'm sure if you’re a Dangerous Summer fan this would be a double edged sword as one you’d be excited to see the band and so disappointed it’s just AJ but it’s a special treat as this won’t be done again. But to people who don't know them it doesn't give their songs the justice they deserve. He does a decent job but the room wants rock not acoustic, luckily next up is some good ole punk rock.

Photo Of The Swellers © Copyright James DalyFlint, Michigan band The Swellers come onto the s2age and kick off with a bang. They open with their latest single "In My Head" which wakes everyone in the room up and gets them rocking out. It's loud, its fast, its punk, it's rock, it's great. The Swellers go through a great setlist, mixing old and new into a coherent meshing of rock thunder. They move around the stage like they own it, playing powerful rhythms whilst singer Nick Diener roars out great vocals which in turn harmonise with brother John on drums, who is also playing his heart out pounding them like it’s going out of style. I said it back in December and I'll say it again now "why aren’t The Swellers massive when they rock so hard". The band barely talk to the crowd until before “Best I Ever Had” where they thank everyone for coming out and supporting music, they also mention how they don’t do this for big corporations for massive money they do it for the music, I know allot of bands say this but at the time of writing I heard from Nick before the gig that they're leaving they're label to go it alone so they definitely practice what they preach. They have set the bar high but next up are Deaf Havana who are hopefully going to push it higher, with what is going to be a killer live show full of rock and a bit of acoustic mixed in.

Photo Of Deaf Havana © Copyright James DalyDeaf Havana enter the stage slowly building up and then bursting into they’re latest single “Leeches” which sets the room on fire. The stage lighting is amazing for the academy 2 and they’re flooded with bright lights illuminating all 5 members magnificently. They rock out and play some great tracks including “The World Or Nothing” “Hunstanton Pier” and “Nicotine” which is a good mix of old and new. They sound good but the bass overpowers the vocals in parts. They all bounce around the stage and get into the swing of things. They’ve come a long way over the past few years and with that and the pressure of having to change styles due to a band member leaving its amazing how well they perform. Tonight’s gig was meant to be in the smaller academy 3 but due to the phenomenal demand they’ve been pushed up, they’ve sold out too, it’s really impressive that a band who’ve been going for years are finally getting the recognition they deserve. They mix things up part way and get a friend on stage to duet with them, they then decide to play “You Are Beautiful” on Banjo which changes the style of the song so well. I’ve only ever seen Deaf Havana once before and that was at Sonisphere in 2010, that was due to; there being no-one else decent on and due to the amazing song “Friends Like These”, unfortunately tonight they decide to change the pace and play an acoustic style Photo Of Deaf Havana © Copyright James Dalyversion for the first part of the song which in my humble opinion spoils it, I really enjoyed the energy and pace of the song before but now it’s slow and just plods along. I know they’ve played it countless times but there is a good reason for that; people like it that way! But to be fair that is my only real complaint, they play a great set and end with “The Past Six Years” and “Fifty Four” which brings the house that the Swellers set on fire, down to the ground.

Everyone goes home happy and all it all it was a good night, a rocky start with a good middle and a different but thoroughly entertaining end. I personally think that The Swellers where the best band, but the crowd where more impressed with Deaf Havana so I have to give them a better score as they did really well on the first date of this long and mainly sell out tour.

Dangerous Summer – 2/5
The Swellers 4/5
Deaf Havana 4.5/5

Review By James Daly

 Deaf Havana


 The Swellers

Nick Diener
Jonathan Diener
Ryan Collins
Anto Boros

 Dangerous Summer

AJ Perdomo
Cody Payne
Bryan Czap
Tyler Minsberg

 Band Related Links
Deaf Havana Facebook
The Swellers Facebook
Dangerous Summer Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?