It always seems like a long time from the end of one Beautiful Days Festival to the beginning of the next. Thank goodness then, that the Levellers gave us fans a fabulous Christmas present in the shape of Beautiful Nights.
Five nights supported by Ruts DC and Dreadzone as special guests (“that means ‘support act’ quipped the lead singer of Ruts DC), we went to the second date in Reading before the band takes in Doncaster, Blackpool and Wolverhampton. While I might be approaching about 100 Levellers gigs, this is only the second time I have seen the Levs at a leisure centre which doesn’t seem like quite the right setting; I know these places are meant to be healthy, but I was a little surprised at about 7.40pm to be informed that I’d just bought the last can of Strongbow.
But that aside, what an incredible night. Ruts DC were great and Dreadzone livened up the crowd with plenty of “oi oi”s, bouncing and a great set finishing up with the obligatory Little Britain and Captain Dread.
With the temperature and sweat levels already high, the Levellers wasted no time in kicking off a high-energy set with England My Home accompanied by a cannon firing confetti onto fans, before launching straight into What a Beautiful Day.
The set included two new songs (hurray!) and then catapulted through crowd-pleasers such as 15 years, One Way and This Garden before the crowd was enlisted to sing along to Carry Me. Everything about the show was incredible – the lighting, the bouncing and the sweat. Happy and dripping with perspiration, we made our way out of this memorable performance only to be surprised by the gift of a free live album.
A beautiful night…now to count down the days until Beautiful Days!