Southampton Guildhall

The Levellers

The Levellers return once again to Southampton Guildhall as part of their almost annual jaunt around the UK, tonight is the final date of an 11 date tour which also included a sold out date at London’s prestigious Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

The tour is in support of their 10th studio album “Static On The Airwaves” which as well as pricking social conscience it provides some great rousing numbers that continue the bands 22nd reign right at the top folk rock music pile. It’s a Sunday night and it seems everyone is seemingly in a bit of a lethargic mood until the support band arrives to get things moving.

Citizen Fish are a Ska Punk band from the west country that have been around since 1990 and like the Levellers they deliver within their music strong social and political statements that deal with a host of relevant themes. Tonight the band seem to be really enjoying the benefits of the large stage and immediately get to work at warming up the crowd. With a two piece brass section and a collection of very danceable tunes the band slowly start to get the crowd moving. The band play a decent selection of tracks with some great quality bass lines that would not seem out of place on tracks by Madness or The Specials. Lead singer Dick Lucas “Dad Dances” his way across the stage while delivering simple ball grabbing lyrics to songs such as “Human Conditioner” and “Marker Pen”. Yet again the Levellers have again got it just right with their hand picked support acts.

Citizen Fish
Citizen Fish 1234567

At 9pm the lights go down and the hall erupts with a choir of drunken cheers as the intro music starts to “We Are All Gunman” which is a slower track the eases everyone in gently, then the band surprises everyone with possibly their most well known hit “What a Beautiful Day” the dance floor erupts and the familiar chorus is joined in by a host of thousands who sing their hearts out. After 22 years the Levellers still have a charm that radiates from the stage to each and every member in the audience. If you are young or old it is always seems so easy to relate to what the band are singing about with the lyrics all still being relevant today as they have always been.

The Levellers
The Levellers 12345678910111213

The new material fits well together with the classics and there is never any let up in energy, the band keeps the momentum going well throughout the whole set. Highlights were a plenty wit Mark’s well delivered vocals accompanied by just Jon’s fiddle on “Our Forgotten Towns”, or the sheer power of songs like “Dirty Davey” and “Cholera Well”. The near two hour 19 song set ended on a high with a auditioned collection of fans who were chosen to join the band on the thoroughly infectious song “The Recruiting Sergeant”, with a great thought provoking chorus. The smiles on everyone’s faces just said it all, a truly great inspiring evening of fun and folk music.

We Are All Gunmen
What a Beautiful Day
The Game
Fifteen Years
Truth Is
Sell Out
Raft Of Medusa
Before The End
The Boatman
Our Forgotten Towns
One Way
Carry Me
Dirty Davey
River Flow
Cholera Well
Far From Home
The Recruiting Sergeant


Band Links

Review & Videos By Dave Chinery (Chinners).
Pictures by Jon Musselwhite.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace