What better way is there to spend a glorious Sunday evening?
Brighton based folk-rockers, The Levellers, hit Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl, bringing the sound of summer to our little corner of the world.
I’m quite lucky to be living a stone’s throw away from Castlefield Bowl. Around this time of year, the distant booming of music and crowds floats down the canal to my flat, thanks to Sounds of the City. This year, Wednesday played host to a headline of Nile Rogers & Chic, Friday saw Shed Seven and Saturday saw a sold out Hacienda Classical show. Sunday was the turn of The Levellers.
The day played host to Blackpool’s The Membranes, Oxford’s Zion Train, Newcastle’s The Wildhearts and Bradford’s New Model Army. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there for the whole show, but I did managed to catch New Model Army – and what a performance it was. To be quite honest, I’ve never listened to New Model Army, but I certainly will be after their atmospheric set. I’m not technically musically inclined, so forgive me if my terminology isn’t the greatest, but I’ve always loved music making real use of the drums. I feel it’s all too common to hear the shallow sounds of a snare providing a beat. Of course, drums are there to provide a beat, but they have so much more too them. New Model Army had a full separate tom set-up, played by a very passionate Ceri Monger. The toms, coupled with the band’s eclectic sound, was almost commanding. The deep booms rang out over an adoring crowd, who lapped up every second of the New Model Army set.
Finishing on ‘I Love the World’, from their album Thunder and Consolation, New Model Army left the stage to a raucous (and beer-infused) applause.
Around 9pm, The Levellers took to the stage. Lead by violinist Jon Sevink, the sextet entered to a loyal applause from a clearly long-standing fanbase. Being in the pit for the first three songs, the second was somewhat spoilt by a barrier fan having had a bit too much fun (alcohol), requiring 4 security men to drag him out.
Despite the setback, The Levellers gave a hugely energetic show, especially considering the heat; the crowd recited song after song; every person, whether sat down or stood, was dancing; and the band seemed to be having just as much fun. Having only listened to The Levellers a handful of times, I’m not overly familiar with specific songs, however their sound, coupled with the gorgeous weather, was a perfect Sunday evening mix.
Overall, my personal preference goes to New Model Army, but you cannot deny the following The Levellers have gained over the years. And as for the Castlefield Bowl, if you’ve never been to a show, get yourself down there whilst the weather is still beautiful!