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The Forum - Feb 13th 2005

On February 10th 2005, the following note was posted on MIKELINDUP.COM: "'s supposed to be a surprise, but something is going to happen at the Forum on Sunday 13th Feb that hasn't happened since 1994... Best Wishes, Mike". And The Forum gig on February 13th 2005 was indeed a momentous occassion in Level 42 history: Mike Lindup on stage with Level 42 for the first time since Level 42's final show at The Royal Albert Hall on October 14th, 1994! Here is the setlist:

Heaven In My Hands
To Be With You Again
Eyes Waterfalling
Micro Kid
True Believers
Lying Still
Take Care Of Yourself
World Machine
A Physical Presence
(Enter Mr. Mike Lindup!!!!)
The Sun Goes Down/Starchild
Running In The Family
Lessons In Love
Something About You
The Sunbed Song
Hot Water

Jennifer Norwood sent in some pics from The Forum show!

Raymond Persaud sent in some pics from last night's Level 42 concert at The Forum with special guest Mike Lindup!!!! Thanks Ray!

Freelance Music Writer Stephanie Thorburn wrote a review of The Forum show! Stephanie works for a number of publications including Voodoo music magazine and Blues Matters UK. She also contributes material to a number of official & fan based sites! (Read some of her work: here) Thanks Stephanie!

To Be With You Again.
Mike Lindup’s Emotional Reunion @ The Forum, 13th February 2005.

Report By Stephanie Thorburn, Freelance Music Writer.

Perfectly pitched around St Valentine’s Day, the 13th February marked a spiritual reunion of ‘L42’ with many dedicated fans braving the elements to queue to see their main men take to the stage for what proved to be a highly original performance. Both supporters and industry folk alike were amidst the assembled crowd at The Forum, Kentish Town, as word spread of Mike Lindup’s rumoured return. Since the finale of Level 42 at The Royal Albert Hall in 1994, Mark King has seldom enjoyed a dull moment. When touring with his solo band, requests for classic hits in his repertoire lead on to securing the ‘Level 42’ name like a quality label. Since this time, Mark has been playing and executing both the hits and fresh live work with what he calls his favourite Level 42 ‘tribute band’, established in 2002.

‘Heaven In My Hands’ opened the Forum set, blasting some Latino thunder into the coldness of the venues midst. Gary Husband’s dexterous jazz/ funk grooves and syncopations headed the rhythm section like the animated motor of a Rolls Royce igniting. It is small surprise that Gary received a recruiting call from Mark in ’87 on the basis of his work with Allan Holdsworth and later Billy Cobham. The strength of this natural selection is still apparent in every rhythmic manoeuvre of the band today. Sean Freeman blasted fire and musical character close on the shoulder of Nathan King’s guitar. Communication amongst the band members required little more than a few glances and affirmations amongst brothers in what is fundamentally a strong musical family. Lyndon Connah’s extensive CV and technique ensured strong results, utilising some skills of diplomacy as the evening progressed.

Mark King addressed each number in the set list with a degree of explanation and sensitivity in his selections; ballads carefully balanced by the more up tempo ‘popular’ hits which formed a back drop to the 1980’s. ‘A Physical Presence’, ‘Lying Still’, ‘World Machine’, there was plenty from the mighty Polydor ‘WM’ album of 1985, putting into perspective the essence of this band’s longevity and success. On reflection, to my mind, Level 42 have never really been about selling to the mainstream, although they have appraised positive selling points both commercially and in more specialised markets on account of Mark King’s self-styled virtuoso slap bass. The lyrical prowess of Phil Gould in particular was a true gift and paid attention to translating the basic building blocks of human emotion and spirit into those universal messages of maturing youth, love sought and lost, our own internal ‘coup d’etat’s’. The wealth of co-penned material has provided longevity for Mark King’s more recent fine selection of musicians to continue interpreting. Tonight this special Valentine’s date was full of sophisticated crowd pleasers, with the advantage of that certain Level 42 insight, reading their audience like a book. ‘Eyes Waterfalling’ and ‘True Believers,’ were refreshing additions to the set, charming, but less well-celebrated numbers signalling that Mark King may just surf that Level 42 web digest after all! At least he seems in touch entirely with the needs of the audience..

“As you know, it is 25 years since Level 42 began this year… There is someone here tonight who was around since the very beginning and he is going to join us to sing a few numbers tonight.” Those words signalled to the stage a ‘young man’ by the name of Mike Lindup, perfectly groomed, and looking wonderfully well on his excellent lifestyle of yoga and self-development. I was instantly taken back a few years myself to the last full band gig I attended in my teens at Birmingham NEC with lengthy encores of classic hits combined with a stadium reception. Indeed, Mike Lindup was clearly moved by the strength of his reception at The Forum, 2005. Skipping across the stage to do his characteristic one hand- clap Eric Morecambe genre dance, he soon fitted back perfectly into the groove. ‘Running In The Family’ was well executed, “and we all have our Daddy’s eyes” was an emotional line for Mike having become a father recently. After this we were treated to some ‘Lessons In Love’ and ‘Something About You’, featuring Lyndon and Mike side by side on keyboards. The encore was by no means disappointing, with Mark playing a short rendition of ‘Love Games’ on bass, but without a full solo. ‘The Sunbed Song’ and ‘Hot Water’ kept the heat ablaze before sending the audience home through the coldness of the night once more, inevitably warmer of heart.

In terms of the future, I can only hope that Mike Lindup, a cherished original member of L42 clearly, does continue to give his musical attentions to the band, although it would be interesting to hear a new album recorded with this relatively new line-up. Whatever lies in store, there are plenty of releases to keep us occupied with ‘Live At The Apollo’ 2003 and earlier material from Rockpalast ‘83/’84 and Wembley ’86 being promoted currently, ensuring that Level 42 becomes increasingly a vintage brand name.

Copyright Stephanie Thorburn 2005.

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