sorted magazine - issue 5

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Levellers, Olympia Theatre

I will gladly put my head on the block by saying that no band inspires such devotion and loyalty as The Levellers. Undoubtedly I will be opening myself up to criticism and mockery, but anyone who was at the gig in the Olympia will surely agree with me.

The latest offering from the Levellers, "Mouth to Mouth" was somewhat of a departure from their trademark fiddle-strewn, politically aggrieved anthems to a more, dare I use the word, mainstream album and even the most hardened Leveller fan could be forgiven for wondering if the band could carry the same energy and excitement to the live stage.

Fortunately our fears were allayed as the Levs were on blistering form, right from the opener "The Game", to their latest song "Just The One". The excitement the band show on stage quickly manifested into the crowd as we were treated to songs from all their albums - "Sell Out", "Carry Me", "Far From Home", "Dirty Davey" and "Hope Street".

Most of the set included songs from their new album and these equally excited the crowd as much as their classics, with "Far Away", "Chemically Free", and "Beautiful Day" deserving a mention.

The reaction of the crowd was electric with some of the fans committing the gross crime of having fun only to be dragged out by the ever ready security. This of course prompted a reaction from the Lev's who were visably pissed off by the behaviour of the professional staff "It seems it's wrong to have fun" said Mak Chadwick.

If the security were not pleased by this statement, then I reckon they were even more pissed off when Simon Friend, in the middle of "Elation", stopped singing to voice his anger at one of the security men who was dragging a fan out of the crowd. "It's hard to fucking concentrate when you have a baldy twat walking in front of you".

Luckily the testosterone level of the security drpped sufficiently to allow the crowd enjoy the gig without fear of being thrown out and even a stage invader survived not being turfed out onto the street. This was after all the Levellers, not the Kelly Family.

However, the gig was, in plain and simple terms, absolutely brilliant.

Paul McCluskey.