The Levellers return to The Assemble Rooms Leamington

Written by on November 9, 2017

Reporter Liane Kate

The last time I saw The Levellers live was in June 2013 at The Assembly Rooms. It was a great night, featuring a memorable performance from the Brighton band with front man Mark Chadwick.

So The Levellers finally returned to leafy Leamington and this superb music venue with the knowledge that ahead of the gig there are sold out banner stretching across all social media and local press articles.

A band known their history, taking their name from a 17th-century English Civil War movement, the lineup is pretty much the same as the one that recorded Levelling The Land tells you all you need to know, they love what they do and  playing live is what the Levellers were made for. 

Over the years the Levellers have strayed into new territory on a number of occasions, but one thing never changes, the quality of their live set. As the performance began, John Sevink and Jez Cunningham, always animated, were like men possessed as they flew around the stage.  The intensity of the performance had Mark Chadwick on his knees and Simon Friend took intensity to a whole new level, concentration etched on his face as he flew through some of the finest songs ever written.  

Indeed, the night was also somewhat of a trip down memory lane for me. Growing up in the 1990’s the Levellers albums influenced much of my musical soundtrack, and their music and indeed message is still poignant today. 

Tracks like ‘The Riverflow’, ‘Liberty Song’, ‘Another Mans Cause’, ‘What a Beautiful Day’, and my personal favourite, ‘One Way’. Levelling The Land was so good that NME predicted it could propel them to become “the most popular band in Britain”. Okay, that might not have happened, but The Levellers are far from two-album wonders, nevertheless.

Their passion, skill and ability to get their legions of loyal fans jumping around to old favourites ‘Just The One’, ‘What A Beautiful Day’, ‘Fifteen Years’ and showstopping singalong favourite ‘Carry Me’, never fails to amaze me.

They notched up six consecutive gold albums throughout the 1990s and their extensive and varied back catalogue means they rightly considered as one of British rock music’s true stayers. As well as creating some of the most catchy songs of all time, the Brighton band are, in my, and many gig-goers’ opinions, one of the best live acts to come out of the UK.

The Levellers celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2008 and released Letters From The Underground which debuted at 24 in the UK Album Charts. The album was released on their own label On the Fiddle Recordings and produced by Sean Lakeman. The album received critical acclaim with Mojo describing it as ‘an impressive return to the fray’ and the Daily Mirror as ‘one of the most politically committed and musically incisive albums of their career…’. A Life Less Ordinary, The Cholera Well, Burn America Burn and Before The End were all released as download singles from the album.

The facts are there that this is a band that will grow with its fans and continue to perform the old greats and produce new music that excites, entertains and educates for hopefully many years to come.

Reporter @LianeKate

Radio Warwickshire

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