Review of Levellers Gig at Bedford Corn Exchange, 13th June 2013
Once in a while, a band comes along who changes the way you listen to music. For me that band was the Levellers. Up to the point of discovery a mere twenty odd years ago, I was a bit of a rocker and wouldn’t listen to anything remotely folky and certainly nothing with a fiddle on it! But then I was dragged along to a Levellers gig by a friend who had a spare ticket. What a revelation! I was very surprised to find a band with attitude and musicianship to match. Since that fateful day, I have seen them countless times and have never been let down.
So then, when I was asked to review one of their gigs, I jumped at the chance. Onto Bedford Corn Exchange on 13th June 2013 – the band returning to the venue they successfully played in 2011.
Opening with ‘England My Home‘, the band instantly have the packed hall in the palm of their hands, with singer Bucking the trend and proving that his vocals just get better with age! Next up ‘What A Beautiful Day‘ – probably the band’s most commercially successful single – which goes down a storm. The set then progresses with a mixture of old and new material from their quite considerable back catalogue all packed with great melody and song writing skill. Other highlights from the set are ‘The Game‘, ‘Fifteen Years‘, ‘Truth Is‘, ‘One Way‘, ‘Carry Me‘ and the mighty track ‘The Riverflow‘! Everyone has their favourites these just happen to be a few of mine. As I’ve seen them do many times before, the band closed the show with a raucous cover of the Charlie Daniels’ Band’s ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia‘. Perfect!
Earlier in the pub across the road, someone had said to me that they didn’t know any Levellers’ songs. And to be honest, it’s not the first time I’ve heard that comment. I reckon they will have left the gig realising they were completely wrong and surprised at how many they did know!
Levellers are a live force to be reckoned with: they’re a band still full of attitude and relevant things to say. As long as they keep writing great melodies and giving superb live performances they’ll go from strength to strength! Long may they continue! If you get the chance, go and see them, I promise you won’t be let down.
Review by Ade Thomas