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Levellers: An English Folk Rock and Anarcho-Punk Band

CEO Tinh Phung
Jeremy Cunningham and Matt Savage, Beautiful Days Festival, Devon 20 August 2006 Levellers, an English folk rock and anarcho-punk band, emerged from Brighton, England in 1988. The band consists of Mark Chadwick on guitar and...

Levellers Jeremy Cunningham and Matt Savage, Beautiful Days Festival, Devon 20 August 2006

Levellers, an English folk rock and anarcho-punk band, emerged from Brighton, England in 1988. The band consists of Mark Chadwick on guitar and vocals, Jeremy Cunningham on bass guitar, Charlie Heather on drums, Jon Sevink on violin, Simon Friend on guitar and vocals, Matt Savage on keyboards, and Dan Donnelly on guitar and vocals. Drawing inspiration from the Levellers political movement, the band quickly gained traction with their EP Carry Me in 1989 and their LP in 1990.

A Journey Through Time (1988-1998)

Formation and Early Success (1988-1990)

The band's foundation traces back to Mark Chadwick, Jeremy Cunningham, and Charlie Heather, who welcomed Jon Sevink on the fiddle. After a short-lived addition of "Bucky" on guitar, the band solidified their lineup. They released their first EP, Carry Me, in 1989, featuring the popular songs "Carry Me" and "England My Home." With the inclusion of Alan Miles, the Levellers toured extensively and signed with Musidisc. Their debut album, A Weapon Called the Word, achieved platinum status in 1990.

Mainstream Recognition and Festivals (1990-1994)

Following a split with Musidisc, the Levellers found success with China Records. The release of their second album, Levelling the Land, in 1991 brought them widespread recognition. The anthemic single "One Way" became a favorite among indie music enthusiasts, along with "The Boatman" and the storytelling of "Battle of the Beanfield." They headlined the Glastonbury Festival in 1992 and 1994, performing to record-breaking crowds. In 1993, the band released the Belaruse EP, featuring a cover of Zounds' "Subvert."

Height of Popularity and Independent Spirit (1994-1998)

1994 marked a pinnacle for the Levellers with their headlining appearance at the Glastonbury Festival, breaking records with their performance in front of 300,000 people. Alongside their musical success, the band actively campaigned against the Criminal Justice Act. They purchased a derelict factory in Brighton, establishing their self-contained headquarters called the "Metway." The album Zeitgeist was released in September 1995, featuring the hit single "Hope Street," which reached number one on the UK charts in its second week. The band continued to tour and release albums, including Mouth to Mouth in 1997, which produced the hit single "What a Beautiful Day."

Evolving Sound and Recent Years (1999-Present)

Musical Experimentation and Autonomy (1999-2008)

In 1999, the Levellers played limited live shows and experienced changes with their record company. They released the album Hello Pig in 2000, followed by extensive touring. Their focus shifted to creating new music, and after signing with Eagle Records, they released Green Blade Rising in 2002. Despite commercial challenges, the band founded their own label, On the Fiddle Recordings. Their annual festival, Beautiful Days, commenced in 2003. In subsequent years, they released albums such as Truth and Lies (2005) and Letters from the Underground (2008).

Return to Form and Continued Success (2009-Present)

The Levellers remained active, releasing live recordings and performing at festivals throughout the late 2000s. Their album Static on the Airwaves (2012) received critical acclaim, and they released a Greatest Hits album in 2014 with collaborations from Imelda May, Frank Turner, Bellowhead, and Billy Bragg. In 2016, they embarked on a UK tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their album Levelling The Land. The band collaborated with members of the folk-rock group Moulettes for their album We the Collective (2018), which reached number 12 on the UK Albums Chart. Their latest album, Peace, was released in August 2020.

Band Members

Current Members

  • Mark Chadwick - lead vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica (1988-present)
  • Jeremy "Jez" Cunningham - bass guitar, guitar, bouzouki, backing vocals (1988-present)
  • Charlie Heather - drums, percussion (1988-present)
  • Jonathan "Jon" Sevink - fiddle, violin, tin whistle, sequencer, sample loop (1988-present)
  • Simon Friend - guitar, mandolin, harmonica, vocals (1990-present; hiatus 2021-present)
  • Matt Savage - keyboards, backing vocals (2003-present)
  • Dan Donnelly - guitar, mandolin, vocals (2021-present; touring 2021-2022)

Former Members

  • David Buckmeister - guitar (1988-1989)
  • Alan Miles - guitar, mandolin, harmonica, vocals (1989-1990)
  • Simon Friend - guitar, mandolin, harmonica, vocals (1990-2022)


The Levellers continue to captivate audiences with their distinctive blend of folk rock and anarcho-punk music. With a history spanning over three decades, the band's commitment to their unique sound and independent spirit is evident in their extensive discography and enduring popularity. As they embrace new horizons with their latest album Peace, their music etches itself into the hearts of fans, carrying on their legacy of meaningful and captivating music.