The Levellers Live in London 2002

Folk-punk may be as fashionable today as your black school plimsoles, but if you enjoy singing along loudly, dancing arm-in-arm with your mates, all having the craic of your lives, to great, uplifting songs then this was the best gig of the year by far.

[r-zone2]Picture the scene. 7.30pm on a drizzly winter’s night in the city. There’s a mile-long queue to enter the venue, but it’s cold and wet, so you seek shelter and beer in the near-by Irish pub. Once inside, you are immediately engulfed by the blissful warm glow radiating around the cosy establishment, which is packed with expectant Levellers fans. Laughter reverberates from the wooden ceiling beams, and The Proclaimers are on the jukbox. At the center of the merriness, in perfect unassuming harmony with their surroundings, are The Levellers. Five blokes having a pint and a laugh together. God bless them.

[l-zone1]The stagecraft is similarly unpretentious. The lights dim and Mark Chadwick and Simon Friend stroll on-stage, acoustic guitars in-hand and launch into a raw, but compelling duet of ‘Is This Art’. Next, ‘Charles’ Heather (drum strapped to his waist) and Jon ‘Fiddler’ Leveller augment the duo for a soul stirring ‘Boatman’. The biggest cheer erupts when an energetic Jeremy comes bounding out to complete the line-up.

[r-zone3]The next hour an a half fades into a dream-like melting pot of emotion – everything you love and loathe about this world flashing before you, soundtracked by the most uplifting punk band of all time. Only the greatest can manipulate the parameters of reality and, with no drugs consumed, it feels like you are with all of your closest friends in a small country pub. Sitting round the fire, plotting the revolution, this is how it should be, and at the risk of sounding appallingly parental, this is what has been missing for the last few years in music.

[l-zone4]In an era where Selling Out is expected by artists, The Levellers remain one of the very few bands who have kept their integrity intact, despite great success (in the early nineties) The world needs them now more than ever. It’s just a crime that it doesn’t know it.

[r-zone5]Set List:

Is this art
Come On
sell out
The Game
Chorus line
4 Winds
The road
three friends
one way
Wild as Angels
Pretty Target
100 years of solitude
dirty davey
forgotten ground
Beautiful Day
15 years
Wake the world