Levellers: A Curious Life at the Royal & Derngate Review

Levs-ACLife tour-R4Levellers: A Curious Life
Royal & Derngate, Northampton

3 March 2015


Reviewed by Rachael Osborne

I used to listen to The Levellers when I was a teenager and had never seen them live, so was very excited when this opportunity came up. The evening was described as:

Join us for a screening of A Curious Life, a film about the Levellers’ rise to fame in the 1990s, followed by a live acoustic concert of their greatest hits. A Curious Life is told through the perspective of Jeremy Cunningham, the band’s bass player and artist, and directed by former Chumbawamba frontman Dunstan Bruce. It focuses on the Levellers phenomenal success between 1988 and 1998, before they disappeared for a time and reinvented themselves. The concert that follows includes many of their greatest hits, from the folk punk roots of Carry Me, through the anthemic One Way, Fifteen Years, Hope Street, Just The One and Beautiful Day to more recent tracks such as Truth Is and Cholera Well.

The performance was at the Derngate Theatre in Northampton. There is lots of public parking nearby. So parking near to the theatre was fairly easy. I parked in the multi-story which was easy to park in and only cost £1. It took a little while to get out but that was to be expected. The theatre was clean, well lit and welcoming. I love going to the theatre and found the atmosphere at the Derngate creates a feeling of excitement. The staff members that we dealt with were very helpful and polite at all times. There were lots of members of staff around to help with any seat queries. There was a timetable up of the evening’s event. The theatre was heaving, and the event was almost a sell out.

8pm A Curious Life film

9.20pm Q&A session

10pm Live Acoustic session


The film was entertaining, and told from the perspective of Jeremy Cunningham. It gave a lot of insight into the band and was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.  I enjoyed watching especially the clips from old gigs. There were interviews with various people in the band and involved with the band.

The Q &A session involved Jeremy Cunningham and director Dunstan Bruce. I found the Q&A session ok. It wasn’t to my taste but other members of the audience enjoyed asking questions. There were a few members of the audience shouting out which was a shame, and some of the questions were rather daft.

The live acoustic session at the end was simply fabulous. They got people up and dancing in the aisles. I loved singing along to the songs I knew and listening to the newer ones. They used different instruments and the audience cheered when the Didgeridoo was brought out! I would recommend seeing this if you enjoy their music. An evening well spent!

Rating: 5/5 thumbs_up

The Levellers are currently touring with A Curious Life, for more information and tour dates visit www.levellers.co.uk.

Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP | 01604 624811


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