Haven /The Crescent : London Camden Dingwalls

A tale of two very different bands...

Whispers coming from the north promise that The Crescent are The New La's. Lee Mavers, former frontman of one of the most influential Liverpool bands of recent years, originally recruited these four fresh-faced kids from the streets of his hometown to form the axis of his new band. He got cold feet and walked out. The Crescent decided to carry on, but on the basis of tonight at least, it's difficult to see why.

Given the sonic innovation of near-neighbours Coral, their orthodox take on the Merseybeat sound is uninspired and lacks any mystery. Let's set the record straight now: The Crescent aren't the new La's - they're not even the new Cast.

Adopted Mancunians Haven on the other hand have the bit between their teeth from the outset. Although their debut album 'Between The Senses' was too-long, and suffered from sanitised overproduction, a month on the road has given them back the edge.

With the exception of an ill-advised acoustic run through 'Is This Bliss', it's obvious that Haven are rapidly growing into a band capable of being huge. Vocalist Gary Briggs looks frazzled but every inch a star - his voice remains angelic, without the kind of vocal acrobatics that might have turned people off in the past.

Havenhave found their feet, and are well on the way to discovering their soul. If the two combine to their full potential, the world could still be theirs.

Julian Marshall

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