Live Music + Gig Reviews

Haven @ Scala, London

7 July 2003



West country cum-Mancunian quartet Haven have re-entered the UK live scene displaying a plethora of old and new. The audience at tonight’s London Scala gig are treated to a goody bag of choices – all the melodic guitar vibes and soaring vocals of their first album which grabbed our attention last year, complemented with some material from their yet unreleased second album.

Lead singer, Gary Briggs is on form, enticing the crowd with an old favourite, Beautiful Thing. There is no doubt that he has one of the most stunning and effective voices around – encouraging various types of heartfelt emotion by a mere reflection of notes. A second point to understand is that the live medium does him far more justice than the recorded product. I personally am moved.

New tunes Tell me and Don’t Say A Word have all the Haven hallmarks so anyone looking for a new departure for the band will be sorely disappointed. For those that like them as they are, it’s uncomplicated, catchy guitar pop at its best.

The gig lasts just over an hour with the boys describing how good it feels to be back on tour. They even look visibly touched when the audience drowns them out singing Say Something and Let it Live. Their disappearance in the last couple of months to record their new album has clearly not quenched their fan bases admiration of them.

Haven have a simple sound, coming from a very unaffected beginning. Gary and guitarist Nat Watson first met in a Penzance record shop while attempting to buy the same album, which they both could not really afford. Their mutual recognition and love for all things music fostered a friendship and a band. It is very evident tonight that that friendship and this very band are growing in strength. They are demanding our attention once more.

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More on Haven
Haven – All For A Reason
Haven @ Scala, London
Haven @ Dingwalls, London
Haven – Between The Senses