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Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Level 42 - Retroglide Tour - Brighton Centre

Tonight we saw the 1980's group Level 42 at the Brighton Centre. It was part of their Retroglide tour to promote their new studio album, un-surprisingly called Retroglide. I’ve been quite a fan of the groups’ music since the release of their 1985 album World Machine. As a composer and keyboard player myself, I have closely followed the career of Mike Lindup since those days of my youth. His 1990 album ‘Changes’ is absolutely superb. It’s definitely high in my top 10 favourites of the last 20 years. However, being an independent release it’s quite difficult to get hold of a copy. I got mine on eBay.

This new album, ‘Retroglide’ is the first time in 12 years that Mark King and Mike Lindup have played together and, in my opinion, their collaboration works extremely well. When I heard they would be performing together on stage, I just had to be there.

When we arrived at the Brighton Centre I was surprised how sedate and calm the whole atmosphere was. I suppose this was due to the age of their fans. My guess was that the average age of the audience was somewhere between 35 and 40. Which when you think that Level 42 was formed in the early 1980’s, shouldn’t have been a surprise. I only spotted 3 people under the age of 30 there. They were children who had probably been bought along by their parents.

I hadn’t realised at the time our tickets arrived that we had seats in row FF numbered 42 & 43. Of course I insisted on sitting in seat 42. I even took a picture to prove it (see below). How sad am I?

The support art was a singer by the name of Kenny Thomas. My wife tells me he was also big in the 90’s, but quite frankly I don’t remember him at all. It must be my age as I seem to be forgetting things a lot lately. He sang from 8pm to about 8:45pm.

During the break I was dispatched to the bar to procure a bottle of water. Not very Rock & Roll, but at my age I find beer makes me fall over all too easily. Just call me ‘Mr Sad’. At the bar while I was picking myself up off the carpet after being told that a 500ml bottle was £1-40, the women at the till insisted that I leave the lid behind! Perhaps they were worried that I would throw the full bottle at someone in all the excitement of the music. Not likely having paid so much for it in the first place. Is this the ‘Nanny State’ in action again?

The main event started just after 9pm and was a mixture on tracks from the new album and many of their old hits. It took me back to the simpler times of adolescence. During ‘Leaving Me Now’ I remember an ex-girl friend of mine who killed herself in very unfortunate circumstances about 10 years ago. I wasn’t expecting to feel that way while having so much fun.

Overall I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

P.S. - You may have noticed that the pictures are not up to my usual high standard. This is because they were taken using my Nokia N70 mobile phone. My Canon 400D was having a night off.


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