Starring Levellers: Mark Chadwick, Simon Friend, Jon Sevink, Jeremy Cunningham, Charlie Heather, Matt Savage
Studio: On The Fiddle/Levellers
Buy on Amazon.com
Together for nearly two decades, The Levellers have been performing a great blend of folk, punk, and rock music, and now fans can enjoy their passionate live performance with a new DVD filled with great extras. Levellers have since become one of my favorite bands and if you watch, you might fall in love with them as well.
Covered over two discs, The Levellers have supplied a top notch DVD with superb concert footage recorded back in March 2006 at The Hexagon in Reading UK. Featuring plenty of their hits and fan favorites, fans should definitely pick this one up as it’s also homage to their dedication to the band over the years. If the 23 or so tracks on Disc 1 weren’t enough, Disc 2 was just as enjoyable.
Each year the band throws together a very family oriented, grass roots festival, entitled Beautiful Days for the fans and the event takes place over the entire weekend. Fans, friends, and family usually make the trek to Devon in South England for the festivities and witness some of the best bands around. Each year the lineup of bands change and sponsorships stay out of the festival, which is especially key to the band. Bands like Steel Pulse, The Proclaimers, Selecter, Seth Lakeman, and Echo and The Bunnymen performed, with of course The Levellers finishing off the weekend. In 2005, Beautiful Days paid tribute to The Clash, along with Special Guest Billy Bragg for The Levellers encore performance and is featured on disc 2 of Chaos Theory. The songs that are played with Bragg are “Police on my Back,” “Police & Thieves” and “English Civil War.”
Not to mention Disc 2 also features a special night from the band’s 2004 acoustic show at the Buxton Opera House, with special guests Rev Hammer, Maddy Prior, Nick Burbridge, and Nick Harper. Songs performed were “Lowlands of Holland,” “Julie,” “Dirty Davey,” “The Boatman,” and “River-O.” Disc 2 also has great interviews with all the band members, and what you don’t see often from musicians is interviews with their loyal fans. The Levellers are the exception as they spend some time with the fan base in the pub prior to the gig and while they enter the venue. Some have seen over 500 shows, some being their first time but a fan for years. It’s a great mix as all fans are welcomed into the “family.”
Another nice treat was the 1993 tour diary “Part Time Punks” as it was a blast from the past. The diary showcases the Levs during their early years, coming off their “Levelling the Land” record and on their way to recording their self titled record. It was fun to see the crowds back then, and how much things have changed. Though the band has great energy and excitement on stage now, the band was so much more energetic back then. As a new fan I would have loved to seen a show back then but I can appreciate that the band is still around.
My only gripe with the DVD is that was supposed to be region free but did not play in my Panasonic Region 1 DVD player. I was able to watch it on a region-free player and it played fine. The sound was great with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound or if you have Stereo, that is fine too. The video shoot had 15 different camera angles with provided excellent footage and angles, along with cool effects throw in. Overall, I loved watching every song performed by the band and can’t wait to see them live on the UK Chaos Theory Tour.
-2005 Beautiful Days Encore performances with Billy Bragg
-Levellers Acoustic Highlights from Buxton Opera House with Special Guests Maddy Prior, Nick Burbridge, Rev Hammer, and Nick Harper
-1993 Tour Diary- Part Time Punks
-Band and Fan Interviews/Sound check
Setlist from Disc 1:
1.) England My Home 2.) 15 Years 3.) Last Man Alive 4.) The Road 5.) For Us All 6.) 61 Minutes of Pleading 7.) Wheels 8.) Belarus 9.) Beautiful Day 10.) Elation 11.) Men-An-Tol 12.) Confess 13.) Forgotten Ground 14.) Carry Me 15.) Dirty Davey 16.) The Game 17.) Come On 18.) Riverflow 19.) 3 Friends 20.) One Way 21.) Liberty 22.) Another Mans Cause 23.) What You Know
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Dolby Digital Stereo
Favorite Scenes: England My Home, Confess, Forgotten Ground, Beautiful Day, Liberty
Running Time: 95 minutes