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Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
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Graham Clark
Features Writer
@Maxximum23Clark
2:25 PM 25th October 2021
arts

Level 42 - Levelling Up In York But Johnny Still Hates Jazz

Level 42
Level 42
Arriving at a concert early to see the support act can be a rewarding experience - especially if the act concerned is from the same era as the headliners.

Johnny Hates Jazz
Johnny Hates Jazz
Johnny Hates Jazz had a string of Top Ten hits in the latter part of the 1980’s and are still recording today. Their blend of smooth and melodic style of pop flows easily with that of Level 42 - getting the act to appear on this current tour was a master stroke of good planning.

Thankfully the audience at York Barbican were in their seats early to witness an act who were underrated at the height of their success. From opening up with Heart of Gold to concluding with Shattered Dreams it was easy to understand why these tracks are still played on the radio today.

Mark King
Mark King
It was not all nostalgia though as Spirit of Love, a song off their last album proved that the act has a place in the future and not just in the past.

Think of Level 42 and inevitably Mark King and his style of slap and pop bass playing comes to mind, along with those melodic tracks that brought the band success.

Adding to the York concert the three piece brass section were paramount throughout the evening giving To Be With You Again and Running in The Family an extra lift.

Level 42
Level 42
In their early days Level 42 were known just as much for their instrumentals before they became more of a commercial proposition. Heathrow might have come a little too early for an instrumental in the set though with the band wearing colourful Hawaiian shirts it looked like they were about to go on holiday themselves.

It’s Over was a diversion from the jazz funk that had so far been the template for the evening, the ballad showed a different side to the band.
Mike Lindup
Mike Lindup

With many of their hits characterised by the vocals of keyboard player Mike Lindup his soulful vocals came to the fore on Starchild.

Something About You had the fans out of their seats whilst Lessons In Love sounded just as good as it did over 30 years ago. “I’m an old man now” offers King. As he energetically played his bass on Hot Water you might be forgiven for thinking otherwise as the night ended on a higher level.