by / January 14th, 2011 /

The Levellers – Academy, Dublin

“Anarchists; Sell-Outs; Hippies; Folkies; Punks; Fashionable; Unfashionable; Squatters; Travellers; Crusties; Musical Geniuses; F**king Terrible; A Great British Institution…”

…Levellers have been called a lot conflicting of things over their 23-year history. However, the closest thing to a consensus surrounding the seminal British folk-punk band is that their platinum-selling 1991 album Levelling The Land is an absolute classic. In one fell swoop it propelled a group of disenfranchised misfits from playing pubs in Brighton to headlining Glastonbury Festival, and in the process becoming ‘The most popular band in Britain’ (NME).

During the summer of 1991 Levelling The Land redefined the UK’s musical landscape. Counter-culture became culture, the disenfranchised found a voice, and not a single pub, club, campfire or festival anywhere in Europe failed to reverberate with the refrains of this iconic album. Levellers provided the soundtrack for a society fed up with the twin evils of Thatcherite politics, and the post-80’s, pre-grunge musical wasteland.

Then as now, Levellers may have been hated, but they were also adored. More importantly, this album caused a reaction in everyone who heard it. Musically and lyrically it absolutely forbade ambivalence. It is exactly this quality which explains that why, 2 decades later, when all but the era’s very best music has faded from memory, each and every track has stood the test of time.