Still going strong after almost 40 years, Level 42 continue their seemingly never ending touring schedule with the ‘Eternity’ tour. Their funky catalogue has seen them maintain a committed fanbase the entire time.
After a misleading ‘Heaven In My Hands’ intro, the band burst into ‘Running In The Family’, with the presence of Mark King’s phenomenal slap bass being felt immediately. It’s impressive to see him get such a syncopated, funky sound to emerge from his red-lit bass, but it becomes almost incomprehensible when King is able to sing completely different rhythms over his virtuosic playing. It’s a skill any bassist would kill for. Admittedly, the singing hasn’t quite stayed at its 80’s peak, and keyboard player Mike Lindup’s has deteriorated even further than the frontman, but that doesn’t stop classics like ‘Sun Goes Down’ and ‘Starchild’ prompting a venue-wide, helping-hand singalong.
The musicality on stage is stunning from all angles, with newish drummer Pete Ray Biggin bringing an almost metal level of aggression to the beats he provided, while the rhythm section (interestingly, choreographed to dance around on their raised podium) each display their skill with brilliantly tight interjections and virtuosic solos. The bearded Lindup is on fine form too- surrounded by his stacks of keyboards, he looks like David Baddiel and Rick Wakeman had a very enthusiastic son.
Despite the tragic omission of ‘Turn It On’, the hit filled set didn’t have a dull moment. Highlights included ‘The Chinese Way’ and ‘Heaven In My Hands’, with the latter exciting the crowd after they assumed our teaser at the start of the show was all we’d get of the 1988 hit. The band were smiling and dancing around just as much as those they performed to, King unable to stop smiling and Lindup regularly emerging from his keyboard castle to bounce around in the middle of the stage.
When the encore came, the band’s most loved tunes came out such as ‘Lessons In Love’ and ‘Built Myself A Rocket’, and by the time ‘Hot Water’ rounded off the show, everyone on stage was jumping and dancing. All notion of the once tight choreography is out of the window and has been replaced with genuine excitement before a final, exceptionally tight reprise of the addictive main theme closed the door on a great show.
Level 42 continue their ‘Eternity’ tour over the coming months.