I have been covering shows at The Leamington Assembly for over 4 years and this was by far the wildest night I have witnessed, the music and the crowd did not drop pace for a second after show time on this hot summer balmy evening.
Folk rockers Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun provided the warm up and are up there with the more animated bands I have seen, bouncing and moving all over the stage while delivering a punchy set of rocking numbers most of which had real bite and aggression with for me a touch of Big Country and The Alarm to their sound.
Excellent support set by a band as good to watch as to listen to with their boundless energy and enthusiasm.
With the atmosphere at fever pitch The Levellers took to the stage with the opening one-two of the politically powerful ‘England My Home’ from their debut EP, and then to get the room really bouncing one of their catchiest ever tunes the truly uplifting ‘Beautiful Day’, the intensity of their set did not waive for a second all evening and boy do they have energy reserves.
Plenty of the bands single releases made the set list including a bright and breezy ‘Far From Home’ and a massive ‘One Way’ which was introduced with a mesmerising didgeridoo display by Stephen Boakes and for this number the audience were now in full voice, singing along as well as bouncing and dancing the length and breadth of the hall.
Other highlights of the set were a rousing version of the recently rerecorded and released anti war anthem ‘The Recruiting Seargant’, a frantic ‘The Riverflow’ and the final encore a rousing cover of The Charlie Daniels Band country classic ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia’ was an inspired choice and great fun with most of the crowd still dancing away (a lot of sweat was produced at this show both on and off stage).
My first live experience of The Levellers and just about blown away with their hi energy folk rock sound mixed with a touch of punk attitude and boundless energy (took me a day to recover though!), Mark Chadwick makes an engaging front man, Jeremy Cunningham smiled throughout while delivering throbbing bass lines and I love the way the fiddle work of Jonathan Sevink flows and weaves its way all through the bands music, cannot wait to see them again.
Review and photos by Andrew Lock
Jeff Oram writes
In 1988 at a pub called the Eagle in Brighton. The Levellers were formed and 25 years on celebrate a quarter of a century in the game.
These veterans of the road and music, create unspoiled songs from the heart. The uninitiated would call this political, but the less compromised would call it truth and honesty. With their unique sound and groove, they spun themselves into the tapestry of the British Indie scene.
Set in a more traditional venue, the Assembly has sweeping stairs and the old school cinema conversion feel. Also got the old school type bouncers to match, who try their best to be friendly without being stand offish.
A great show and these guys really play to their audience. More a continuation than an anniversary. The same line up, tighter than ever, and with an infectious vibe. Laced with a sense of enjoyment and performing to a high live level, keeping their already great (and well-earned) reputation still intact.
Photo gallery by Jeff Oram
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