Death metal band are first Brits to play Cuba

A Halifax heavy-metal band made history when they played a series of gigs in Cuba.

The Prophecy, who play doom-death metal, played five venues on the Caribbean island, including one in front of over 2,000 people in Santa Clara, as part of the Brutalfest tour.

They became the first British heavy-metal band in history to play in Cuba when they joined the line-up on the tour, which is usually played by Swiss bands.

The band, which has toured all over the world, has released several albums and is made up of four men from Halifax.

They are vocalist Matt Lawson and drummer John Bennett, both from Shelf, guitarist Greg O’Shea from Siddal and bass guitarist Gavin Parkinson, who lives in Bradford now but was born in Halifax.

Matt said the chance to play in Cuba was one he couldn’t turn down.

“I was going over there on holiday when I decided to have a look at what was going on. I found out about Brutalfest and thought it sounded good, so I got in touch with the organiser and arranged for us to play.

“We had a great time over there and the fans really seemed to like our stuff,” he said.

“There were loads of British flags in the crowd and the locals were really friendly.

“We’re used to packing our stuff up and heading off on tour, but this one was a bit different. When we got there all the equipment was in a fairly poor condition but I think we were able to make up for that and we played pretty well. Loads of people asked us if they could have a copy of our albums but we didn’t take enough and they couldn’t download them because their internet is so slow and expensive.”

As well as Santa Clara, the band played Havana, Pinar Del Rio, Matanzas and Camaguey.

Matt said their style of music originated in Halifax.

“A couple of big bands who play our genre are from Yorkshire, like My Dying Bride, and Paradise Lost, from Halifax.

“Each member brings something a bit different to the band, which sometimes makes writing albums a slow process. It’s taken us three years to write our fourth album but we’re getting there now,” he said.