Released in 2000, the sixth Levellers album 'Hello Pig' was a complete departure for the group. Maybe they realised that they had reached their commercial peak, and that it was impossible for them to become any bigger without compromising their values. Scoring another massive hit was no longer a reality at this point, nor was it the highest thing on the agenda when it came to getting back to making music. Feeling that their formula was wearing thin, it was time to try something different to (in bassist Jeremy Cunningham's words) "becoming the indie Status Quo." I can recall a few days that I spent in Yorkshire for the Leeds festival that year, where I was most surprised to walk into the Barnsley branch of Our Price and find a brand new Levellers single on the shelf of that week's releases. I had heard no prior news about 'Happy Birthday Revolution', unsurprising since it again received no airplay or promotion. It's easy to see why it didn't fit in anywhere within 2000's nu-metal obsessed musical landscape, where a Lennon-flavoured Communist ballad was deemed to have no place. Stalling at number 57, it was to be the only single to be released from the hugely divisive 'Hello Pig', which was ironically greeted with the most optimistic reception from the music press yet, yet an extremely mixed reaction from the fans. Frontman Mark Chadwick talks about 'Hello Pig' in an exclusive interview, which is being published in parts throughout the week on RW/FF. Read part one HERE.
This song can be found found on the new 'Greatest Hits' album, which is available as a 2CD/DVD package, and a 149 track digital box set. Buy yours HERE. In support of the album, the band will embark on a UK tour with support from the brilliant She Makes War, and ska legends The Selector.
NOV 11 Nottingham Rock City
NOV 12 Bristol o2 Academy
NOV 13 London o2 Shepherds Bush Empire
NOV 14 Birmingham o2 Academy o2 Academy
NOV 15 Norwich UEA
NOV 16 Portsmouth Guildhall
NOV 18 Wrexham William Aston Hall
NOV 19 Newcastle o2 Academy
NOV 20 Sheffield o2 Academy
NOV 21 Glasgow o2 ABC
NOV 22 Manchester Academy