by Calum Mason
There’s an energy and passion about folk rockers Levellers which blasts from every instrument the Brighton-based six piece choose to pick up, be it a mandolin, guitar, violin, keyboard, fiddle or banjo. With over twenty years of touring experience and a twelve album back catalogue, ranging from traditionalist folk songs to 90s anthems that could fill stadiums, the traveller-inspired rock band are not ones to be missed when they play the O2 Academy Bristol on 24th November.
You can picture the gritted teeth of lead singer Mark Chadwick on Liberty Song as he groans “No no, they’re trying to get to me, to take my liberty,” an anti-establishment folk rock tune Shane MacGowan would be proud of. The punchy guitar of Jeremy Cunningham is best displayed on What A Beautiful Day, giving us an upbeat 90s anthem which leaves you wondering where the bands folk title comes from at all. That is until you hear the politically charged Another Man’s Cause, a damning indictment of the Falklands War where the band let loose their talents, resulting in an almost chaotic finale mirroring the bands enraged pessimism: “They’re gonna die in a place they never should have been at all”.
We can’t exactly be sure what it was that first led Chadwick and Cunningham to meet in a Brighton pub back in 1988 but we can say with one-hundred percent certainty that we’re glad they did. Be sure to catch them in Bristol this November.