Album & Single Reviews

Published on December 13th, 2014 | by Mike Ainscoe



Having given The Levellers much love this year with reviews of their ‘Greatest Hits’ album and Manchester gig on the ‘Greatest Hits’ tour, as well as an interview with bassist Jeremy Cunningham, which was one of our most popular hits of the year, it seems only fitting that we round off with covering their current single release.

‘Just The One’ comes from the ‘Greatest Hits’ package and is a collaboration with Bellowhead – a match made in heaven if ever there was one. Taking the track which first appeared on the ‘Zeitgeist’ album featuring Joe Strummer on piano, it’s the perfect choice for Bellowhead, whose own repertoire draws mainly on songs about the sea and drinking, and they can now add this cautionary tale of the evils of alcohol to their canon.

Given  completely free reign to rearrange the song in any way they saw fit, ‘Just The One’ has been transformed into a raucous, bombastic hoedown with Bellowhead frontman Jon Boden on lead vocals, accompanied by no less than thirteen backing musicians from both bands. Recorded ‘live’ at the Levellers own Metway Studios in just one day, the performance was a huge challenge producer Sean Lakeman just to fit everyone into the same studio, let alone record them.

It was quite a pat on the Sonic Bandwagon back to see the interview with Jeremy Cunningham being quoted in the press release, when he described the recording as, “Organised chaos…Just to get about thirteen people – all of us and all of them – in our studio and playing live all at the same time. It was a logistical nightmare but we managed to pull it off.”

The single comes as astrictly limited edition blue coloured 7″ vinyl version alongside a CD single, a digital download bundle and a Spotify EP.  Included in these are live versions and an instrumental – so you can do Levellers karaoke – listen out for the Sonic Bandwagon version coming very soon to Pure 107.8FM.


About the Author

Mike's mellowed in his old age, discovering the delights of traditional folk and acoustic music and the constant stream of new music coming through his passion as a gig-goer, music photographer and writer. With favourite artists and favourite songs which change daily, even hourly, he adds another spoke to the Sonic Bandwagon wheel of fortune.

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