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The Levellers// O2 Academy/ 18.11.12

In all honesty I was slightly nervous when queuing amongst the mob of middle aged Levellers fans with their assortments of band t-shirts tucked into their waist high belted jeans. However the vibes were energetic on entering the Academy and throughout the support acts more and more people filtered in and we waited in anticipation.

For those of our generation who like me hadn’t heard of The Levellers, they were ‘discovered’ in the late 80s by Malcom Mclaren, the same man that discovered the Sex Pistols, and originate from Brighton. Twenty years down the line they are still busy touring and have made legendary appearances at Glastonbury. I would describe The Levellers’ genre as rock meets folk, the main folk influence being the incredible electric violin which for me was the highlight of the gig. Although the overall tempo wasn’t particularly quick, the rapid fiddle riffs created a lively atmosphere, enhanced by the active jumping around the stage of the violinist and bassist, who I feel must be admired as his dreadlocks were so long they almost definitely weighed him down. Another unusual yet strangely fitting instrument used was the Didgeridoo, played by a man on a darkened stage wearing fluorescent orange paint. Compliments must be made to his mind blowing circular breathing which to my surprise lasted for not only the intro but the entire song which encouraged the roaring fans to scream louder and jump higher. Unlike countless rock bands, their songs escaped the generic sameness that I think many bands fall into today and their songs ranged in terms of speed and instrumentation, giving them a refreshing variation.

Although not a musical aspect, special mention must go to the lighting crew, who complimented and enhanced the whole performance enormously and probably could have gathered their own impressive fan club with their timing, angling, effects and techniques. Overall it was really enjoyable, for the intricate fiddle playing and admirable audience interaction and would definitely attend another!

/Maddy Hunter

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