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Levellers, The

This five-piece outfit from Brighton in England included fiddle and mandolin, and its brand of populist-based punk anthems was tinged with the stirring sound of Irish folk music.

They took their name and much of their ideology from the Puritans active during the English Civil War between 1647 and 1649, whose agenda advocated republicanism, a written constitution and abolition of the monarchy.

The Carry Me EP was released on Brighton’s Hag Records in May 1989 after which they signed to French label Musidisc and Waterboys producer Phil Tennant recorded their debut album.

They made a breakthrough into the national charts with minor UK hits One Way and Far From Home in 1991 after signing with China Records. They also became regulars in the music press where they took to criticising The Men They Couldn’t Hang and New Model Army.

The Levellers’ affinity with the neo-hippie/new age travellers prevented them from ever achieving mass appeal, but they had no worries about playing to a large and appreciative audience.

The band’s popularity was so strong that it even had its own 24-hour hotline and a quarterly magazine, On The Fiddle.

Mark Chadwick
Vocals, guitar, banjo
Simon Friend
Guitar, mandolin, banjo, bouzouki, harmonica, vocals
Jon Sevink
Jeremy Cunningham
Bass, bouzouki
Charlie Heather
Alan Miles
Guitar, mandolin, harmonica, vocals