Review: The Levellers Acoustic Tour at Tyne Theatre

Review: The Levellers Acoustic Tour at Tyne Theatre

I’ve only got one album by Levellers, ‘Levelling The Land’ but that didn’t stop me reviewing their acoustic tour at Tyne Theatre and Opera House Newcastle.

I have to admit that I love a gig that hits the weekend and this one fell on a Friday = a Saturday lie in.

Opening to the Levellers were two cheeky chappies called Wilswood Buoys. Like Levellers their music had a folk element to it. Two men, two guitars, two voices and lots to say. I really liked them and they got the crowd warmed up nicely. I got a Blur vibe too. If you want to catch them in the region again, they are at The Kin Festival in Durham at the end of April.

Now for Levellers. The backdrop simple with just one word ‘Levellers’ and two-tier staging. No airs and graces or pyrotechnics here.  Nine people entered the stage each with their own abundance of talent and skill. The line-up consisted of Mark Chadwick, the lead on guitar and vocals, Jon Sevink, violin, Jeremy Cunningham, bass guitar, Charlie Heather, drums, Simon Friend, guitar and vocals, Matt Savage, keyboard, Dan Donnelly, guitar and vocals. With Levellers also came three of the Moulettes, Hannah Miller featured on double bass, Ollie Austin on percussion and the amazing Raevennan Husbandes whose simple use of sound was eerily beautiful.

This acoustic tour is the follow on from their 2018 album and I’ve hit Spotify to check out the album and there are definitely some goodies on there.

The audience was primed and ready to go. Swaying started quite earlier on. Mark wasn’t happy if there was silence between songs and the audience were happy to oblige by filling any silence with claps and woops along the way.

As they went through each song I couldn’t help but be drawn to Matt on keyboard who has a mean shoulder dance. Also how epic was the percussionist Ollie juggling between lots of instruments may fav being the Cabasa. Of course Mark and his voice was on pointe. The cello or could it be double bass sounded amazing especially when Hannah was playing in partnership with Jon on the violin. 

I could go into the politics of the music but it’s not my thing to do on a night out so I will listen and absorb the music with all the meaning to be discussed at a later date. 

As the gig progressed so did the audience and more and more people got out of their seats and paraded to the front. No one stopped or told to go back to their seats so we stood up to and had a bit of a dance and enjoyed the feeling and free spirit of all of those around us that were clearly MASSIVE fans.

The end of the set appeared to end quite abruptly albeit knowing an encore was due to happen and they audience stomped and clapped for what felt an age. Three more songs were belted out during the encore. Hope Street, Down By The River ‘O’ and last but not least Just The One. 

Whilst my favourite song wasn’t played it was still a, ‘beautiful day’ and I would happily go and watch Levellers and friends again.


Review by Suzanne Whelan (Gifted Tickets)

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