On stage with the levellers
“Musicians Mark Chadwick and Jeremy Cunningham met in The Eagle, a pub in Brighton, in 1988. Discovering that they had a fair bit in common, including a left wing view of politics, they decided to form a band. They soon added Charlie Heather on drums and Jon Sevink on fiddle and, after a short while, Alan Miles to play harmonica, guitar and the mandolin.
The band released two EPs on their own Hag label in 1989, which led to a contract
with Musidisc. They released their first album, A Weapon Called the Word, in 1990
which is one of the few albums known to have gone gold without ever charting. After
its release, Miles quit the band and was quickly replaced by Simon Friend and that
The following year, they released Levelling The Land which was a massive success, entering the charts at number 14 and eventually going platinum. The single One Way, despite not bothering the Top 40, became a live favourite for years to come. Levelling The Land is often
Today the levellers are enjoyed by huge numbers of fans all over the world, run their own music festival and have many albums and live tours under their belts. They are a musical success story but they are much more than this, their songs have a habit of capturing the mood of the moment and speaking for the common people.
Unlike many great bands they have kept their feet on the ground, retaining their human touch, keeping ego’s at bay, and by natural and genuine generosity of spirit making their fans feel like part of a huge family where everyone good natured is welcome and valued, old and young alike.
Frank is a huge fan of the Levellers, and owes his love for the fiddle and inspiration to songs from the levellers like ‘sell out’, ‘maid of the river’ and ‘battle of the bean field. It is true to say that Aes Dana Druids are all huge levellers fans, and we often play their songs around out camp fires.
Sunday 25th November 2012
Frank the Druid appears on stage playing violin with the Levellers!
Frank & lucky local musician friends gather before the gig on the steps of Southampton Guildhall, were we excited?..oh yes!
Backstage, Mark and Jon take us through our parts.
The gig begins!!!
...and frighteningly soon, it’s time for ‘The Recruiting Sergeant and our cue to
“It has been a remarkable year for Aes Dana, we have had to overcome many obstacles in order to stay true in our service to the old traditions, yet the Goddess has really blessed us.
We have enjoyed meeting so many generous and wonderful people;
The archaeologists at the Mesolithic dig in Amesbury, we have been involved in supporting
the Amesbury Museum, we have shared in Amesbury community life especially enjoying
the Carnival and crazy Stone-
Playing with The Levellers, was for me personally, right up there as one of the best ever experiences of the year! I know that my musician friends and I would all like to say a massive and sincere thanks to them for being the generous warm good hearted people that they so clearly are”