Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Level 42 30th Anniversary Tour Congress Theatre Eastbourne Review

Level 42
30th Anniversary World Tour 2010
Congress Theatre
19th October 2010

Mark King
Mike Lindup
Nathan King
Sean Freeman
Pete Biggin

Please note the sound quality on my video above is not up to the high standard in the theatre, but as it was taken only on a standard compact camera it could be worse.

There was a good size crowd to appreciate one of the 1980's top bands however given the fact Hastings and Brighton are within easy reach of Eastbourne I really thought this was going to be nearer to a capacity crowd.

Whether the empty seats were down to lack of advertising, people saving money in difficult times or a thought that Level 42 could not match their performances of the 1980s I don't know.
The Deep MO Congress Theatre Eastbourne
What I do know is that if any Level 42 fans had filled those seats they would have had a great time watching one of the best gigs the Congress Theatre has ever seen.

I'll begin with the support act though, The Deep MO. Yolanda Charles the lead singer has a beautiful voice but the music itself really wasn't to my taste. Their sound is primarily funk with some R n B, Hip Hop and soul thrown into the mix.

The first couple of tracks in their 30 minute stint I found bearable but when the funk and hip hop undertones dominated the remaining tracks I started wishing for the main act to appear.

That's not to say they weren't excellent performers. Indeed many in the audience, who like their sound, gave them a great reception and I know they sold many CD's in the interval. But that is the thing about support acts they are always going to get a mixed reception, not everybody likes the same thing.

Yolanda and her fellow band members have a large number of supporters though so if you want to check them out further try here http://www.myspace.com/thedeepmo

The support act has no bearing on my rating for this show as they weren't the main act. I won't give them an individual rating either as it's not their fault I don't like their type of music.

At around 8.30pm Level 42 appeared to a massive reaction from the Eastbourne crowd.

You'll probably get a good gist of the show's content from my video compilation. The playlist was a mixture of the greatest hits and popular 'B' sides from their 1980 to 1994 heyday period. On the whole it seemed that the playlist was mainly in a reverse chronological order working back from the later to earlier hits.

All the 'old favourites' were in there Lessons In Love, Running In The Family, Something About You, The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up) and many more. With a single ballad and an utterly incredible long instrumental there was a heck of a lot to appreciate in their approximate 90 minute gig.

There have been several member changes in Level 42 over the years but it is great that Lindup is now back in the lineup on keyboard with his incredible falsetto vocals alongside lead singer Mark King. The current 5 replicate the sound of the original band perfectly. Sax Player Sean Freeman was particularly good at lugging his instrument to all corners of the stage to demonstrate his musical skills to all sections of the audience.

Whilst on the subject of the Congress Theatre audience. Well done Level 42. I honestly cannot remember the last time I saw all levels of this theatre on their feet because they wanted to be on their feet, not because an act encouraged them to stand. To see people in the grand circle dancing away is a rare occurence here!

Level 42 30th Anniversary Tour EastbourneMark King was very complimentary about the Congress Theatre saying what a superb venue it was for a gig and that the band they had decided on Eastbourne instead of Brighton. He's right it is an excellent venue for bands - it's just a shame we don't see more acts of this type coming here instead of the Brighton Centre which I actually dislike as a venue due to a horrible seating plan and expensive parking. Perhaps now we've seen the likes of McFly and Level 42 here more acts may hear what a great auditorium the Congress Theatre has? 

Mark King, according to Wikipedia, is now 52 years old. Yet here he was was bouncing around the stage with the energy of a hyperactive teenager. Whether that's all adreneline fuelled for the show and he then goes off stage and collapses in a comfy armchair with a mug of cocoa I have no idea. But it can't do his ego any harm that young female fans were still screaming at him as if he'd just become the latest icon on X-Factor.

I wish he'd been on hand at Joe Pasquale's show the other night to deal with the gobby heckler. King was taking no rubbish from anybody in the audience. When a male heckler started trying to request his own track playlist he shut the guy up instantly when he said forcefully "This isn't a conversation.... it's a gig!" Nice one Mark! Heard nothing from Mr Loudmouth after that. 

It was also nice that the leader of the band hung around at the end to shake the hands of anybody at the front of the auditorium.

The only icing on the cake, as far as I was concerned, would have been to get my extortionately priced programme signed. Come on guys £10 is ridiculous value given the content. No wonder not many were being sold. It seemed that more people were interested in T-Shirts than programmes. Reduce the price to a more reasonable £6 and you'll shift loads (although it may be a little late in this tour).

Would anybody not have enjoyed Level 42? Only perhaps those non-fans who were being 'forced' by their partners to accompany them. Everybody else, especially those who were teens in the 80's, had a fantastic time reliving memories of a great musical era.

They say their next tour will be in 2012. If you come back to Eastbourne we'll be there!
5/5 for Level 42 30th Anniversary Tour

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1 comment:

  1. Hi i saw Mark and the guys at Ipswich, and they are simply the BEST...The energy that Mark has is fantastic and i think cos he love's he's music and being out on tour and having fun and sharing his talent with he's fans, makes him come alive, no-one can play sing and move the way he does, well i've yet to see it!!!!!and still look good at the end of the performance, roll on 2012, i would also like to say that the programme i think was a good price, it was on good quality paper lovely photo's and i have seen other programmes being sold for twice amount. But as i say if your not happy with the price don't buy no-ones forcing you........

    Ree (Level 42 fan).....


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