The Levellers at Lighthouse, Poole 10.3.23 with The Wilswood Buoys supporting
Any band playing at what is my local venue will grab my attention. ‘Lighthouse’, as seems is the current term, is an arts and entertainment centre with, amongst other facilities, a 1476 seater main concert hall. This is where The Levellers played.
It isn’t on the usual gig circuit, so any rock/pop/folk acts stopping by raise an eyebrow and with no add on travel or accommodation costs it makes it an attractive option. Before my time here everyone played The Lighthouse but these days it’s more bespoke and my blog of Nick Cave’s performance gives more details of pre-gig options.
These blogs sometimes focus more on a new venue, perhaps dwelling on my history of seeing a band or visiting a venue, the photos or video clips, but some are more of a diary note of my grey-haired gig-going experience. This is more the latter. The Lighthouse usually has a no photos policy which limits my focus but I go with the flow and just whip my phone out a few times. No camera tonight
I don’t remember seeing The Levellers before, although I’m sure they must have played a festival I was at over the last 35 years. I find their brand of rousing folk-rock easy to get on with and the 1991 album Levelling the Land is one I particularly warm to. I have no albums by them so Spotify is my source and without it I doubt I would have got near paying £38.50 plus bits for a ticket for this show.
The support band is the Essex duo Wilswood Buoys, two guys with acoustic guitars and some punchy folk-rock tunes. Perfect warm up.
By the time the nine members of The Levellers came on stage the auditorium is just about full – the balcony is open but I can’t see how many are up there.
There are obviously a lot of Levellers followers who have travelled into town for this and this lifts the atmosphere, and later means the crowd gets up to dance and wave more than is often found here. The rowdiest I’ve seen since the Simple Minds ‘acoustic’ visit about five years ago. Remember this venue is the home of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
The vocals are a little quiet for the nine instruments and but it was a good noise and it picked up. I would like to see a non-acoustic set now and I do wonder how different it would be. Maybe they would just stand up and shout a bit more between songs eh.
I recognise Liberty Song early on in the setlist but the lack of depth in my Levellers knowledge was obvious – it was enjoyable all the same. By the end the mood was celebratory – The Levellers had come to Poole. I grabbed a phone video of Hope Street, one of the encores which is on my Grey-Haired Gig Goer YouTube channel.