Last of the Summer Levellers..

IMG_0815The Levellers are my first musical love, and you supposedly never really get over first loves – so it’s odd I’d almost forgotten that I’d got a ticket for tonight’s gig in Holmfirth until Tim reminded me at Deerstock over the weekend. As such I’d managed to not book today off work, nor book anywhere to stay, or basically do anything sensible at all except wangle working in our Leeds office the day before for a shorter schlep down to the gig.  Since I’ve exponentially grown my gig-going the Levs don’t make up quite such a big proportion of my musical life these days.

However, t’was exciting nonetheless.  Driving through the stunning Yorkshire countryside down to Holmfirth – famous as the location for Last of the Summer Wine – was lovely in the sunshine, less so in the early hours on the way home with a 20mph-slower-than-the-speed-limit numpty in front of me and a full-beam-wanker behind me… but anyway, that’s a moan for another day!  Holmfirth is a lovely picturesque place, at the Picturedrome is a cracking venue comprising of a former cinema with the seats removed and a couple of balconies.

Outside at the nearby Old Bridge I found a partial mini Deerstock reunion in the form of Tim, Tina and Kev – alas no Simon or Snotty (who has elected rather than to summarise Deestock in detail on her blog start a campaign of making lots of people get dust in their eye.  In fact, on the subject of Snotty you should check out her photos from Deerstock too – in numerous and edited form).  But there were plenty of other familiar faces milling around.  Not least much of the band and Gaz Brookfield enjoying a few pre-gig drinks before heading off the soundcheck.

So after a crafty burger in the nearby Nook (only six quid and massive!) and corrupting poor Björn of Doonicans fame with his first Jägerbomb (and last, possibly!) we headed to the venue in time to catch Gaz supporting.  It was a pretty short set all told but he was on predictably good form.  A decent sized crowd had gathered and plenty of us were more than happy to bellow his lyrics back to him at the right moments which prompted that charming look of surprised delight he does when that happens.

With it being a short set he stormed through his more familiar numbers, Lands Pirate’s Life opening the set and the singalongathon that is Let the East Winds Blow to finish – with Be the Bigger Man nestled in there along with Diabetes Blues and its reprise.  I could merrily listen to him all night so it was a bit sad he was cut so short but then it has been a while since I’ve seen the Levellers too – and frankly didn’t want to be going on too late as I needed to get home and in bed with work in the morning (he says, writing a blog rather than doing just that..)

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Because a little bit of moshing might have happened I’ve not been so good at keeping up with the Levellers set list in my head, but certainly it had an older feel to it – only Truth Is and Cholera Well were unleashed from anything later than Mouth to Mouth from my recollection in the latter part of the set.  The highlight for me was Men-An-Tol as it’s such a beautiful song – although y’know, leaping around like an idiot to Sell Out, Fifteen Years etc etc is always good fun.

I was pretty excited to hear them strike up Too Real only for Mark to forget the words part way through (just before the ‘La la’ verse too which would’ve been impossible to forget – haha!), we had a verse repeat in another song that’s slipped my mind too.  It was great to hear Dirty Davey get an airing too, as well as a bit of a didge-fest for This Garden and One Way.  My random recollection of songs I heard in no way reflect the order in which they were played I should add.

All in all, as ever the Levellers didn’t fail to entertain spectacularly.  The venue was great, and the security relaxed about assorted towers being build – which probably spoils the fun for Kirsten somewhat, no games of chase with bouncers.  Even Björn – surviving his jägerbomb experience – found himself atop a three-man tower I think during This Garden which was pretty epic to see.  The only small downer being a random lady seeming to want to have a go at Linda for no apparent reason but that was soon quelled.

A splendid evening – I’m only regretting not planning my life a bit better and not having to get up in a few hours to drive to bloody work.  But never mind, it’s Friday and then it’s the weekend again, and that is always a good thing isn’t it?

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