Ipswich: Regent-bound Level 42’s Mark King thinks he should have his own parking space here

Ipswich Regent bound Level 42. Photo: Christie Goodwin

Ipswich Regent bound Level 42. Photo: Christie Goodwin - Credit: Archant

Mark King laughs the Ipswich Regent is so much like a second home he should have his own parking space.

Mark King of Level 42. Photo: Steve Perks

Mark King of Level 42. Photo: Steve Perks - Credit: Archant

He and the rest of Level 42 - one of the biggest bands of the 1980s, selling more than 30million albums worldwide over the last 30 years - return this Thursday with their Sirens tour; celebrating the recent release of their six-track EP of the same name.

“We stuck out this EP of six dance tracks... I came up with some songs and gave them to a New York remixer called John Morales who did a great job on them. When they came back it was almost like this ephihany of ‘damn, we seem to have gone full circle’. The songs reminded me of when I was hearing people l remixing stuff for us back in 1981 and 1982... The similarities where we’re at now and where we were 35 years ago...”

As well as songs from Sirens and hits like Lessons in Love and Something About You, he’s looking forward to playing little nuggets buried away on previous albums with the backing of a brass section.

“I was looking through this old box of CDs Polydor put together and there are so many songs tucked away in there that we never ever played but I know are going to work so well with the brass section, things like Are you Hearing and 88 and a great track called It’s Not the Same for Us,” says King, who acquired the rights to the name Level 42 in 2001, taking the band back on the road.


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“We’ve never played this stuff before, so it’s going to be this old new stuff if you know what I mean. These are little nuggets were buried away on albums that never saw the light of day as singles and we never got to play them live because we were always chasing some other agenda at the time, trying to promote whatever the latest single was.

“Obviously we’ve got to do Lessons in Love, Something About You and I always want to play Starchild or The Sun Goes Down because they’re great dance tracks and I know the audience want to hear that. It’s so lovely to be able to do things like Kansas City Milkman... Tracie, I want to get that out because I think it’s going to sound amazing with the brass section.

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“I have been known to b**** things up before,” King laughs before we both bemoan how the digital domain has made albums almost irrelevant because music fans can cherry pick and how the first Level 42 albums were about taking listeners on a journey.

“I’m hoping this is going to work out well, something in my stomach says ‘yeah, this is going to be good, really something’.”

King, fellow founder member Mike Lindup, Nathan King, Sean Freeman and Pete Ray Biggin play the Ipswich Regent on October 9. They will be supported by acoustic singer-songwriter Will Stapleton.

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