The night started with Gaz Brookfield, a singer songwriter who performs by himself with an acoustic guitar. Despite being on early the venue was already busy, so there was a large crowd to watch his set. His folk sound went down well with the crowd, and a song about all politicians being the same got plenty of cheers, as did a song attacking bland manufactured pop music (X factor etc).
Next up were Citizen Fish. They’re an interesting band – alongside the usual guitar, bass, drums and vocals you have a trumpet and a trombone, so I was curious to see how they’d sound. Musically they’re a mix of Ska and Punk – there’s a real old school punk attitude and musical sound, but the brass section brings out that Ska sound, resulting in a really good combination. The singer is hyperactive, prowling the stage and never staying still even for a second. I really enjoyed their set – it’s not a band I’d have thought to go and see normally, but after watching them I was impressed enough to buy their CD at the merch stand, and I’m sure they’ll have made quite a few new fans tonight
Tonights headliner is of course The Levellers, who have packed out the venue with their fans – it’s so packed that it’s not an easy job to get to the bar !
Tonight’s set is made up of a good mix of old and new – six songs from the new album (Static on the airwaves), six from their classic “Levelling the land album” which dates back just over twenty years, and the rest of the set made up of songs from the rest of their career. Right from the opening songs (“Beautiful day” in particular) they had large parts of the crowd bouncing up and down and in the few bits where there was room to move people were soon dancing. The band look to be having a great time on stage and that’s reflected in the audience who are also having a great time.
“Levelling the land” being my favourite Levellers album I was particularly pleased to see the album well represented in the setlist. The band have done a great job of mixing the old and new with plenty of each included, and with lots of fan favourites included in the set and with some of the new songs looking like future staples of the setlist.
The atmosphere was fantastic – a real party atmosphere, which is typical of Levellers gigs. If you haven’t seen The Levellers before then I definitely recommend that you make the effort to go an see them – one of the most fun live bands around. As good as the band are on their albums, their live shows are where they are best enjoyed as the gig atmosphere really adds so much to the experience.
We Are All Gunmen
A Life Less Ordinary
Raft of the Medusa
Before the End
Our Forgotten Towns
Far From Home
The Recruiting Sergeant