TV Party - L

LEVELLERS - Chaos Theory Live {On The Fiddle} Yeah, yeah, yeah - I can hear you bleating: "THE LEVELLERS ain’t a fucking Punk Rock Band!" True, but the band is self-managed and release material on the its own label. They sing songs of self-belief, social and political injustice, and individuality - that’s more than AGAINST ME! can say with any credibility these days! This double DVD features an entire, bombastic 24-track live set that’s loud, exciting, dynamic, fast, political - wow, everything that many play-it-by-numbers Punk Rock wannabes aren’t! The sound is simply massive and has been captured on several cameras that go in close on every band member as well as widescreen group shots. The second DVD is probably where all the curio highlights are. You get a neat few numbers from an acoustic show and the encore from the band’s own Beautiful Days festival where the band is joined on stage by Billy Bragg. Then the songs kick in... ‘Police On My Back’... ‘Police And Thieves’... ‘English Civil War’... If those songs mean nothing to you, well, how unfortunate for you. The first and third tracks are great, full of energy and sincerity and played with such a zeal as to make Strummer proud. ‘Police And Thieves’ lacks a bit initially but it turns around somewhat and becomes a bona fide version. From there you get a tour diary, ‘Part Time Punks’, from the band’s 1993 tour which includes a blazing take on the ZOUNDS classic ‘Subvert’ (that mean anything either?) and some revealing bootleg-quality footage. Unfortunately it all ends on a low with a bunch of fan and band interviews. The band questions are run-of-the-mill and repetitive while the fans’ responses are fawning to the point of mundanity. Sure, some of the sloganeering may be simplistic and utopian - but so was, and is, 50% of Anarcho Punk. What I do know is that THE LEVELLERS come over as a lot more fun, a lot more sincere and a lot more committed than the likes of the ridiculous faux Scottish Punk (via Fastway and Canada!) of the REAL McKENZIES and this DVD defines that a borderline-mainstream band can return to its roots, retain its credibility and prove to be as viable 17 years into its career as it was at its conception.