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"The Levellers.What do they say in their most famous line?

"There's only one way of life to lead & that's your own". If that's not a summary of failed inspiration and failed compassion, then The Levellers are the next Sex Pistols".

That is just one of the many criticisms the levellers have had to endure over the last 11 years.At least the fuckwit could have got the lyric right.So who are the levellers?


The Levellers are:

Mark Chadwick/Vocals/Guitar

Simon Friend/Vocals/Guitar/Mandolin

Charlie Heather /Drums

Jeremy Cunningham/ Bass

Jon Sevink /Violin

 

 

MARK CHADWICK:

THE LEVELLERS FORMED IN BRIGHTON IN 1988 BY Mark Chadwick (lead singer) Mark Chadwick was born in Munster(Germany) on the 23 June 1966,his father was an Army musician.His younger years was spent moving from posting to posting.Mark had wanted to be in a band since he was 12 years old & after spending a lot of time in front of the mirror with a tennis racket his father bought him a cheap acoustic guitar & a chord book.Mark taught himself to play the guitar aided by his chord book & The Beatles complete.In 1982 At the age of sixteen with no real direction he picked Brighton on a map & set off.Mark took to busking around Brighton & joined his first band The Soup Dragons(Not Late80's Band)Whom he met Didgeridoo Master Steven Boakes.The band want going anywhere and gave Mark Time to think & on a trip to Dieppe mark decided to go back to Brighton and form a band that he wanted to play in.Mark Decided To go to The Eagle one night bumped into a friendly youth who was trying to flog his bass guitar & Mark got chatting to Jeremy Cunningham.

 

JEREMY CUNNINGHAM

Jeremy cunningham was born on 2 June 1965 in Crawley Sussex.Jeremy was a shy child & always felt like an outsider. When he was 12 one of his cousins played him a copy of "Pretty Vacant "By the Sex Pistols from that day on the punk era had collected Jeremy Cunningham.Jeremy was also interested in Film Making & entered a BBC young Film makers Competition    He made it to the final but unfortunately not to the big screen.When Jeremy's sister discovered horses she forgot about her acoustic guitar so then Jeremy re-strung it as a bass.Jeremy attended a foundation course at Reigate art college,after 2 years he went to Brighton art college where he also discovered dreadlocks.Jeremy is a talented artist & has had his work displayed in a number of exhibitions.On the night in the Eagle mark didn't want to buy Jeremy's Bass he had a better idea.

 


The Levellers music is described as "Folk Punk"

Mark had his first encounter of Celtic music when his father was based in Northern Ireland.When Mark was in Brighton he use to listen to a punk band called"Mc Dermotts Two Hours"they were a Brighton based band who rarely made it out of the town.They were enormous & their lyrics crossed from Northern Ireland Politics TO Fox Hunting ."McDermotts Two Hours" Were an inspiration to The Levellers.

After the Night at the Eagle they both met up & Jeremy Brought His Friend along Charlie Heather.


CHARLIE HEATHER

Charlie Heather was born on 2 February 1964 in West Wickham ,Kent.When Punk turned up in Bromley he was about 12 years old & he saw his first punk Rocker after that he fell in love with the music.Charlie was also a budding artist but did not get in to art college which pissed him off considerably so at 16 Charlie got a job fitting Tyres to tie him over.Charlie persuade his mother to buy him a drumkit on hire purchase.Charlie would spend most evenings playing with local punk band such as the Frantic Undertakers, Charlie never had drum lessons he preferred to gain his knowledge watching other bands on stage.Charlie lost his job & a mate of his was moving to Brighton so Charlie decided to move too.Charlie met Jeremy at a party where Jeremy was trying to get Off with Charlie's ex girlfriend,they got chatting & realized they had a lot in common.


So that was the 3 of them Mark was on the lookout now for some melody he didn't want a band with long guitar solo's in  it.Mark was living with a girl called Helen at the Time & her brother played the Violin,Mark asked him to come along his name was Jon Sevink.


JON SEVINK

Jon Sevink was born in Harlow on 15 May 1965.At junior school Jon excelled at sport and was especially good at the High Jump funnily enough.Jon started playing the violin aged 8 in the school orchestra. Jon's family moved to Worthing then after 2 years decided to move to Brighton.At the age of 13 Jon was playing in a group when a rival gang started menacing them.One of the youths pulled out a Knife Jon put his hand up to defend himself & it slashed his left hand.Jon received surgery on his hand from a surgeon in the East end of London which involved grafting a ligament from Jon's ankle.Fortunately the operation was a success.After stints signing on in Edinburgh & Sheffield Jon returned to Brighton.Mark then approached him to try out for this new Band.


The band had it's first rehearsal at the Grapevine Studios next to The Eagle.

The band needed a nameMark Came Up with it "The Levellers".The original Levellers came to light in the English civil War from 1642-1648.The term levellers was a put down by their opponents,who sought to denigrate their ideas.The Levellers were part of a groundswell of thinkers,they insisted that all men should be born free & that equality under the law was birthwright.Thier main membership was from the Army.The main inspiration for the levelers at the time was John Lilbourne,or freeborn John.In 1647 troops were dispatched to Ireland and the levellers in several of these Regiments mutinied against the enforced conscription abroad,holding that only volunteers should be sent.So the Levelers found their name.

The first demo was done at Grapevine Studio's.(Barrel of a gun/hard fight/England my home/capital gain)

The band started to gig with 7 songs in & around Brighton.The band then embarked on a tour of Sussex playing in any old pubs.The first festival the ban played was in Brighton"The Urban free festival.It was becoming clear to all concerned that the levellers had potential to go places.The band then teamed up with Terry John who was to become an intregal part of The Levellers.After spending a year constantly gigging & putting the proceeds into a Band Fund they could now afford to Bring Out Their own Ep(Carry Me) Mark realized that he wouldn't be able to play the Harmonica as well as the guitar so they decided to recruit another member .Alan Miles at the time played in a group which covered drunken rootsy Irish music.The Levellers wanted Alan to cover the harmonica & also some Mandolin spots.The Band started to gig around the South of England from Universities to Local pubs & then embarked on a mini Scottish tour & a brief trip to Northern Ireland.Alan started to get pissed off that he wasn't getting paid & that all the money was going into the band fund all came to head when he ended up hitting mark & walking out.The band then contacted Simon Friend who had played a few solo support slots.

SIMON FRIEND

Simon friend is the final member that makes up the levellers.He was born on 17 May 1967 in Norwood southeast London.Simon attended boarding school in his early years where he also joined the Army cadets where he reached the ranks of Sergeant .Simon was destined for a life in the army until he Heard Thin Lizzy.Thin Lizzy gave him a taste for Irish Rock & with this bought himself an electric guitar.Simon left school with ten 0 levels and 3 A levels and took the traditional year out.He kept himself going by busking & working for the RSPCA,Simon used to follow New Model Army and got a job as a steel errector.Simon then got offered supporting slots for the Levellers & he stuck in Their minds it was an obvious choice.

 


That was the band complete from here on the Levellers were constantly touring and writing new material and backing & supporting issues that most people doesn't even realise that it exists,Human Rights remember what it isThe Levellers Do. 

Inagine a world where,say,a third of the bands that regulary make the charts gave the sort of financial support to causes that the Levellers have backed,Then slap yourself around the face & remember that hardly anybody else is doing it. 

The official story of the Levellers can be ordered from The Levellers Official Web Site.

 

www..Levellers.co.uk

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