Levellers ready to 'celebrate last 20 years'



© Ami Barwell

The Levellers are just about to set off on a UK tour in recognition of their two decades of blurring the boundaries between punk, folk and pop. Drummer Charlie Heather checked in with Rhythm to tell us what we can expect…

It seems that fans heading to one of the shows, which kick off in Liverpool tomorrow, will be in for a treat.

Charlie said: "We're celebrating 20 years of Levelling The Land. It's clearly our defining album. We put the tour out there at the end of last year and it's already sold out a lot of the dates. We're playing it track for track and putting in some b-sides as well."

Of course running through an album in its entirety means dusting off a few tracks that haven't seen the light of day for a year or two.

Charlie admits: "It's a bit of a challenge. We're listening back to the album thinking if we should play it as it was on the album, because over 20 years the songs have developed a bit. It won't be exactly like the CD, otherwise we might as well just put the CD on and mime it.

"It's interesting looking it at again fresh. We're dedicating four or five days of rehearsal to it. It'll be a good show, we're putting on a whole new production look. It's a celebration and a reflection of the last 20 years. It's going to be interesting, I can't wait."

Charlie also tells us that the band have re-jigged their sets in recent tours with this special latest jaunt in mind.

"Because Levelling The Land is our best collection of songs they all feature in our sets over the years. A couple of years ago we decided not to play anymore Levelling The Land, which the fans really liked because they'd heard them all before. We dropped them to save them for this tour, so we haven't played any of them for a while. I don't think it'll be a problem though. I think 20 years is long enough to learn them!"

Rich Chamberlain

Rich is a teacher, one time Rhythm staff writer and experienced freelance journalist who has interviewed countless revered musicians, engineers, producers and stars for the our world-leading music making portfolio, including such titles as Rhythm, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, and MusicRadar. His victims include such luminaries as Ice T, Mark Guilani and Jamie Oliver (the drumming one).