Nick with the Levellers at Buxton Opera House,
Saturday 7 February 2004 - by Paula

The view from the gods

Rona, Maggie and I were parked up in the nosebleed seats of the Opera House but the view was great (in my opinion - t'other two didn't want to get close enough to the edge to see any more!). The crowd was full of mad but lovely Levsheads, who we met in more depth in the pub before and after the gig. The whole thing was being filmed for posterity by a Levs film crew, so I'll keep you posted if anything comes of that.

We knew it was going to be a gig of two halves, and Nick had warned he wouldn't be on till the second half. The first half was still good - folk singer Maddy Prior came out to sing a couple of songs, including Julie which I've been assured is a particular fave of Levs fans. It sounded great, as did another Nick (Burbidge) who came out for a few songs with the band.

At that point, I was a bit worried that our boy would be two songs and away, especially as he didn't come out at the start of the second half. The first guest then was Rev Hammer, an old friend of the Levs, who seemed a bit mad but had a nice line in cowboy hats!

We were really getting into it and gave a mighty cheer when "the recently barbered and butchered" (more on this below) Nick came on, looking lovely in a smart white patterned shirt.

Our man on the stageMust have been too many alcopops!

And he didn't leave again (or maybe only for one song!) - hurrah! He was onstage for and playing on almost all of the following:

Punch Drunk / Hope Street (Nick solo) / Not In My Name (new song written by Nick and Mark Lev) / Beautiful Day / Just The One / Burford Stomp / Rivaflow / ENCORE 1: One Way / River O' Joe / ENCORE 2: Wake The World

So he was there for all the Levs' biggies! The definite Harpic highlight was his emotional cover of their classic Hope Street, which he sang and played all by himself as the band looked on approvingly. According to the gig program, his cover of this will be on the upcoming Levs and friends acoustic album, which is fantastic as I thought it had a totally different vibe and really improved on the original... and that's saying something. It was plaintive, heartfelt and beautiful, and I'm not just saying that because it was Nick. Not sure what's going to happen with the new song - I think it was about the wrong committed by our government(s) in the name of the people - but hopefully it will be on the album too.

Right, let's rock... Nick shows off his new hairdo

Okay and as for the hair - it's ALL Mark Lev's fault, blame him (and alcohol) but yeah it IS rather punk rock isn't it... my suggestion that Nick put a stripe down the other side didn't take, apparently symmetry is SO last century LOL. Don't worry, Rona gave Mark a good talking to about it, even though he didn't know her from Adam... he'll know not to mess with Nick from now on or he risks the wrath. ;)

Created 12 March 2004
© PLC 2004