Friday, 18 April 2008

Song Of The Week XIX

I really, really love the Levellers.
I love getting to dance like mad, jumping around and singing along and just having a brilliant time.

However, they are also responsible for the worst gig of my life. Not because the music was bad (I'm doubting, for me, that it ever could be!) but the sheer number of people there and the ensuing crush. I've been to a good number of gigs and of course folk festivals, but never anything like this. The thing with folkies is that we're a pretty respectful bunch, if we bump when we're jumping or dancing then apologies are generally profuse. So, I felt quite safe standing at the front for the gig. I'm generally to be found near the front as I like to be in the thick of it, the atmosphere is a world away to that when you stand at the back. I can't explain it. Anyway, there Gary and I stood. More and more people piled in. Gary repeatedly asked if I was ok, I was. He was concerned there'd be a rush when the band came on. I said it would be fine. We stood through two appalling support acts. I actually can't express how bad. But the second was bombarded with bottles and allsorts, it was horrible to watch.
Then the Levellers came out. Gary was right, there was a rush. Or rather a surge, everyone pushed forward and I found myself standing at a 45 degree angle, unable to either straighten up because of the pressure of people behind me or even move or breathe properly. I thought it'd ease when the song started. But instead everyone started jumping, which I expected, I'm normally one of the throng leaping around, only this time, I was what they hit on the way back down from the jump. I got an elbow to the collar bone and momentarily thought I'd been really hurt. I wailed quite loudly and a random bloke yelled if I was ok and sweetly stood sideways on to the crowd so the man with the dangerous elbow wasn't able to get me again. After a song or two I went into blind panic, desperate to get out. Gary had to jump up and physically throw himself backwards into the crowd to force people back so I could get out.
Even he was genuinely frightened by crushing feeling of all those people leaning on us.

So, whilst that goes down as the worst gig of my life, I can still be found near the front jumping around with everyone else. And it's never been like that again.
I love that the songs are something you can feel passionate about and really sing along and feel the lyrics mean something. We all love a good protest song.

Levellers - Dirty Davey:

Dirty Davey has to be up there as one of my favourite tracks, although there really are so very many that I love. I think that's also something I love about seeing them live - knowing so much of it.
The last time I saw them, I was exhausted from dancing when the started playing 'What you know', I was busy bouncing along when they started the fiddle part and Mark started screaming "Faster" into the mic. I leant towards Harriet and advised her that I thought I might die. Then he yelled "Faster" again, and I believe I begged for no faster!

In fact, so you can understand my pain - here is that very song. I jumped the whole length of this and check out the speed you need to keep up... I need to work on my fitness. Either that or I sincerely hope that anyone leaping around for a couple of hours would be as equally knackered as I was!

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