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Interview: Deaf Havana talk partying with Kings of Leon and campsite showers

Deaf Havana’s James Veck-Gilodi opens up about his favourite festival memories and who from this year’s line up could handle the band’s partying.

You’re no stranger to the Reading and Leeds’ stages – what’s your favourite memory from performing previously?

I think my favourite memory, although cliché, is probably just our performance on the Radio 1 Stage in 2013, it was like an out of body experience, I felt like I watched myself performing on stage that day. I couldn’t have asked for anything more, although I did look an absolute STATE at the time haha.

What do you think makes British festivals the best in the world?

Not sure really, potentially because we are some of the rowdiest people on earth and it’s always a huge party!

Deaf Havana Interview Party

You’ve been subtly teasing some big news on Twitter recently, when can we expect to hear some new music from you?

We’ll be putting out a couple more songs in July but the whole record, ‘Rituals’, comes out ahead of Reading & Leeds on the 3rd of August!

You’re known for your live shows, what’s one thing you’d love to do at a show but haven’t managed to yet?

We’ve been lucky enough to perform on stage with some amazing extra musicians but I guess I would love to perform with a full orchestra and huge choir. The more musicians on stage, the more fun for me (but definitely not for our front of house guy).

You’ve toured with Kings of Leon previously who are headlining this year’s Reading and Leeds. Can you tell us any stories about that?

We have, that was pretty wild. No stories in particular really, they were just super nice guys and gave us a shout out on stage every night, they also stocked our back room with a LOT of booze, which always gets people in our good books.

Deaf Havana Interview Booze

You go hard when you’re on the road touring, what’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you?

I probably can’t list the craziest thing that has happened to me if I’m being totally honest haha, but to me the whole concept of being able to travel the world, get drunk and play music with your best mates is utterly crazy in itself.

If you could pick any song from any artists that sums up Deaf Havana’s journey so far what would it be and why?

‘Tubthumpin’ by Chumbawumba.

What’s the weirdest thing anyone has ever thrown on stage at one of your performances?

A bra with someone else’s number written in it, not the owner of said bra. Weird.

How do you like to get pumped up before you take to the stage? Do you have any pre-show rituals?

We just do a few shots and listen to pop music, nothing big really, we’re a bit normal I guess haha.

If you had to pack a fancy dress outfit to take to Reading and Leeds, what would you take?

I’d probably just dress up as Johnny Vegas, a big issue seller told me I looked like him once…

Deaf Havana Interview Johnny Vegas

If you had a food stall at Reading and Leeds what would you call it?

Chef Havana (obvs)

Leeds plays host to the Piccadilly Party late into the night in the campsite. Who on the line up would you like to party with?

Pretty much just Post Malone I reckon, that boy looks like he can keep up with us drinking wise.

Deaf Havana Interview Post Malone

Camping or hotel?

Hotel, always.

Pizza or burger?


Tea or brew?

I’m assuming ‘brew’ has whiskey in it, so brew.

Wet wipes or campsite shower?

Hmm, Guest Area campsite shower for sure, failing that – a hosepipe.

Mosh pit or rave?


Beer or cider?


Power nap or power through?


Deaf Havana are set to tear up the BBC Radio 1 Stage on Saturday at this year’s Reading Festival. Want in? There’s only one thing to do.