As gigs go, this was belting hot. And it wasn’t just the music.
‘I’m blinded by sweat,’ announced Leveller Mark Chadwick as the lead singer, his band and the sell-out crowd at the Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea struggled to stop losing half their body weight in perspiration.
Yes, it was hot, uncomfortably so at times. But it seemed to make the night that more special. Everyone was suffering, but there was a sense that ‘we’re all in it together’.
Right from the off, the Wedge was buzzing with excitement at seeing one of the hardest working bands of the past two decades. These guys never seem to stop touring.
They got the crowd into the dancing mood by playing Beautiful Day as their second song, and then went on to perform the majority of hit album Levelling the Land, including One Way, 15 years and The Game.
There were also tracks from their current album Static on the Airwaves, a stunning return to their folk-rock roots.
Throughout, the songs are peppered with protest taking the listener through the failures of the Afghanistan campaign, the demise of our High Streets, and even a mutiny of British troops in the First World War.
The band have just celebrated 25 years – here’s hoping they will carry on for many more years to come.