Level 42: Celebrating 40 years of the finest pop funk at Bexhill's De La Warr Pavilion

It was 30 years ago almost to the day that I first saw Level 42 live in concert.

Mark King on stage at the De La Warr Pavilion with Level 42
Mark King on stage at the De La Warr Pavilion with Level 42

The group had released its first album of the 1990s Guaranteed following on from the huge success of the previous few years.

Three decades on, and judging from the packed audience at the De La Warr Pavilion last night (Oct 8), one thing's for certain, the band sound as good as ever and has lost non of its appeal.

Celebrating 40 years in the business, Mark King and his colleagues have embarked on their From Eternity to Here tour originally scheduled for last year but postponed due to the pandemic.

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    Mark King on stage

    Opening with the perfect track for the moment, To Be With You Again was highly appreciated by the 1,500 strong crowd.

    And it was a joy to see the band performing again and enjoying themselves in front of their adoring fans.

    King was quickly into his rhythm with his trademark, slap bass style and Mike Lindup's voice and keyboards combined to help drive their powerful melodic sound.

    With 18 top 40 singles and more than 30 million album sales, the band has a huge catalogue of popular tracks to choose from.

    Mark King

    Running In The Family, Living It Up and Children Say sounded just as good as when they were first launched in the 1980s.

    And then we were treated to one of my favourite tracks, Turn It On, from their eponymous debut album in 1981.

    The melody, the vocals and the bass all combine, to create just the most perfect, driving, pop funk track, hard to believe it is 40 years old.

    A Floating Life, It's Over and Dune Tune followed before the toe-tappingly good Kansas City Milkman bass line bounced off the walls of the auditorium.

    Starchild saw Lindup come out to the front of the stage to get the audience clapping and moving to the beat.

    The ever popular Heaven In My Hands, Love Games and Lessons In Love received huge applause before a memorable evening wrapped up with a thumpingly good version of Hot Water.

    And it was also great to see Johnny Hates Jazz performing as the support act, reminding us just how good a decade the 1980s was for music.