Slightly put off by a mardy PR dickhead who berated me via Twitter for having a negative opinion on ska music that was performed by support band The Selector, I managed to curb my anger and write about a decent band instead. Still quite angry about it now though. What a penis he was.
Date: November 11, 2014
Venue: Rock City
If your answer to the question “What’s your favourite Levellers album?” is The Levellers’ Greatest Hits, this gig is right up your street.
Spanning a career which began in earnest in 1988 and has yet to fade, one that saw them labelled as mouthy political show boaters, grebos, crusties, tree-huggers and ‘not as good as Carter USM or The Wonderstuff’, the folk-punk titans treat their loyal fans to a chunky set of their best bits.
As 1997 single What A Beautiful Day begins proceedings, it’s proven that they’re no second rate revivalists, and that this band are still very much together.
Two very similar songs follow, both with equal amount of crowd participation. 15 Years and Belerus, extremely close relatives, continue the party as a violin frolics and guitars swell.
That violin, it’s worth noting, is at the epicentre of all that’s good about this band. Jon Sevink is a vital cog in their whole folk-tinged indie-rock, playing his instrument with extreme competence.
Mark Chadwick might be the be-hatted ringleader of this eclectic six-piece, but it’s those strings that play the most pivotal of parts.
The band are also periodically joined by members of their support band The Selecter. From vocals to sax, they augment the folk sound superbly.
Stripping things back a little, Julie is a poignant reminder to the band’s anti-establishment remit; the tale of a desperate situation, while This Garden flips things around completely with a bassy, colourful didgeridoo the foundation for the anthemic track.
That is then totally outdone by a sensational version of One Way, perhaps their coup de gras.
So where now? Well they showcase their Celtic-classics, culminating – at the third encore – with fan-favourite Riverflow.
So much energy and vim and vigour. There’s still a place on the musical landscape for The Levellers.