Fans of the Levellers can enjoy a Beautiful Night in Doncaster this week – with a live show and free album.
The cult alternative rockers bring their Beautiful Nights tour to Doncaster’s Dome tonight and are giving away a free live album to everyone who attends.
“It’s just to give something back to the people who come to see us,” says bassist Jeremy Cunningham.
“We have been doing a greatest hits tour for about a year-and-a-half now. These are some of the best bits of that tour.
“Our sound team have been recording a lot of the gigs.
“We picked some of the best songs that haven’t been released on a live album before.
“Then we thought ‘what can we do with them’.
“They could just sit there, but we thought we would give them away with tickets, as like an early Christmas present.
“Modern recording technology means its cheap enough to do that now.”
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The improvement in technology is just one of the big changes the band have noticed since they started out in Brighton nearly 30 years ago, in 1988.
“When we first started, people made their money by selling records and played live to promote it,” says Jeremy.
“Now, there are very few people making money from selling records. All the money is from playing live.
We are a live band. That’s what we’re known as and that’s what we’re best at.Jeremy Cunningham, Levellers bassist
“That’s why we can give away records.”
It is also why the change has not hit the Levellers as much as other musicians.
The group - which has had almost the same line-up for more than 25 years of Jeremy, frontman Mark Chadwick, drummer Charlie Heather, fiddler Jon Sevink and guitarist Simon Friend, with keyboard player Matt Savage joining in 2003 – are renowned as a live band, playing dozens of dates each year, as well as hosting their own annual festival for more than a decade.
That is not to say the band have not enjoyed chart success, including three top-10 albums, including 1995 chart-topper Zeitgeist, and a string of hit singles, such as 15 Years, This Garden and Hope St.
But, Jeremy admits: “We are a live band.
“That’s what we’re known as and that’s what we’re best at.”
And it is their live performances, such as at Under the Big Top in Sheffield’s Graves Park two years ago, which have won them and kept them a huge army of fans.
“We’re very grateful for that,” says Jeremy.
And why the band are giving away a CD to say thank y0u.
* Levellers play The Dome, Doncaster, on December 3. For tickets, priced from £25, visit www.the-dome.co.uk
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