Levellers, A Curious Life – The Forum, Bath.

Something slightly different tonight. The first half of the evening was a showing of A Curious Life, a film which covers the history of the Levellers via the life of bassist Jeremy Cunningham.

Following the film there was a quick Q&A with the director Dunstan Bruce, and Jeremy Cunningham. Dan managed to ask his insightful question about the price of whisky. The answer was £285.

After the Q&A there was a quick break before the band took the stage for a superb acoustic set, which involved a lot of dancing much to the consternation of the security guards.

The Boatman
The Road
Hard Fight
Confess
Edge of the World
Alone in This Darkness
61 Minutes Of Pleading
Elation
After the Hurricane
Maid of the River
Barrel of the Gun
Truth Is
Dirty Davey
Burford Stomp

Carry Me
What You Know

Levellers – O2 Academy, Bristol

We were a bit late arriving so missed most of the first act, Laura Kidd aka She Makes War. Second on were The Selecter who, despite being somewhat cramped on stage, were superb.

Billed as a greatest hits tour, that’s exactly what we got from the Levellers. From the opening salvo of Beautiful Day to the final encore of The Riverflow we were treated to 90+ minutes of sing-along goodness. After the issues with the sound at the Cheese and Grain earlier in the year there were no such problems and they sounded superb.

Beautiful Day
Fifteen Years
Belaruse
World Freak Show
Far From Home
Together All The Way (with Pauline Black)
Dog Train
Sell Out
Exodus
Julie
Boatman Jig
This Garden (with She Makes War)
One Way
Too Real
Hope St.
Truth Is
Carry Me
Come On
Cholera Well
Liberty

Just the One
The Devil Went Down to Georgia

The Riverflow

Levellers – Cheese and Grain, Frome

It’s been five years since I last saw Levellers in Frome as part of the Frome Festival, but tonight they were back again.

Support came from Gaz Brookfield who I’d not seen before, but was one of the better support acts I’ve seen in recent years.

The Levellers played a good set from what I could hear of it, but it could have been so much better. The sound mix was atrocious with the vocals so quiet that it might as well have been an instrumental performance at times. It’s a good job the crowd knew most of the words because you couldn’t hear them otherwise.

I’m not sure if it was a Levellers problem, or a Cheese and Grain problem, or a combination of the two, but I’m not sure I’ll bother seeing them there again.

Levellers – Komedia, Bath

Despite suffering from a severe case of man-flu (or a bad cold as other people call it) I dragged myself out of my sick-bed an in to town to Komedia to see the Levellers.

Support came from Moulettes who to be honest weren’t ideally suited as a support band. A bit musically esoteric, and some songs were too quiet and so were drowned out by a chatty and generally uninterested audience.

However all was forgotten when the Levellers came on stage running through a good mix of new and old songs over the course of the evening. They were on superb form tonight, probably the best I’ve seen the play over the years. After a final encore of ‘The Devil went down to Georgia’ it was time to head home for a slug of Benylin and a medicinal brandy or two.

Levellers – O2 Academy, Leicester

Traffic problems on the way up, and an unannounced change to an 6pm start meant that we arrived too late to see Back To The Planet, which I’m not happy about.

Despite that letdown, Dreadzone were good, and the Levellers were on good form, although they did manage to mess up The Riverflow by forgetting the lyrics.

An annoyingly early finish of 22:15 meant we were home early, still bitter about missing Back To The Planet.

Levellers and The Wonder Stuff – O2 Academy, Bristol

It doesn’t seem like it, but it’s 20 years since Levelling the Land was released. To celebrate the Levellers are touring and playing the entire album.

The Wonder Stuff were supporting complete with Fuzz Townshend guesting on drums. Due to a late arrival we missed the first part of the set, but the rest of it was superb.

After a break and a video introduction the Levellers took to the stage and ran through all of Levelling the Land with a brief diversion in the middle to play some B-sides from singles of the era. They finished off what was a superb evening with a handful of songs from the rest of their repertoire. All in all a thoroughly good night.

One Way
The Game
15 Years
The Boatman + Didgeridoo
Liberty Song
Far From Home
Hard Fight
Dance Before The Storm
Last Days of Winter
Devil Went Down to Georgia
Sell Out
Another Man’s Cause
The Road
The Riverflow
Battle of the Beanfield

Hope Street
Carry Me
Cholera Well

Beautiful Day

Levellers – Komedia, Bath

You can tell when you spend too much time at gigs when, on your way out of the venue, the security guard on the door spots you and proclaims "bloody hell, you spend more time here than I do".

A fantastic night from the Levellers, a bit of a different set than I’m used to, they played a fair few songs I didn’t recognise, and left out some of the obvious classics. Shame about the slight cock-up at the end of "Devil Went Down to Georgia" though.

Levellers – Cheese and Grain, Frome

Support tonight came from the highly amusing Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dogs, who performed an interesting Skiffle/Punk themed set, starting out with a bit of Led Zeppelin and Green Day, and ending up with "What shall we do with the drunken sailor".

As always with the Cheese and Grain, the sound was a bit muddy for the main act, but the Levellers still put on a superb set, barely stopping to catch breath between the songs. Two encores followed the main set, then all too soon it was 11pm and time to drive home.

I’ll be back at the Cheese and Grain again on Saturday for The Bad Shepherds.

Levelling the Royal Albert Hall

As part of their 20th anniversary the Levellers played a mostly acoustic set at the Royal Albert Hall. The venue is certainly impressive, and not somewhere you’d expect the Levellers to play. After a quick pint in an nearby Imperial College union bar we started off with a fantastic meal in the restaurant. Due to a lack of bookings they’d had to move us from the “cheap” restaurant to the expensive one, so to make up for the increased prices our desserts and most of our drinks were provided free of charge which knocked a fair chunk off the bill.

The support act was Nick Harper, lets just say we decided to head back to the bar after a few songs rather than have to listen to any more of him.

The Levellers did a two-part set, all of it seated. This was probably due to the fact that Jon Sevink had a foot in plaster and walked out with the aid of crutches. The first 50 minutes or so was all acoustic, and they were joined for several songs by an acoustic string quartet. After another swift pint in the bar during the interval we returned for the last hour or so which was a more normal electric set cumlinating with the obligatory rendition of One Way.

Another swift pint in the Imperial College bar was in order after we left, then it was time for the tube back to Harrow.

Setlist:

No Change
Elation
Edge of the World
Julie
The Boatman
Together All the Way
Lowlands of Holland
Before the End
Chemically Free
Another Man’s Cause

Far from Home
Beautiful Day
Death Loves Youth
Behold a Pale Rider
Exodus
Hope Street
Burn America Burn
Carry Me
Dirty Davey
Cholera Well

This Garden
Men-An-Tol
One Way