Level 42’s Mark King talks Ipswich Regent gig

Level 42 return to the Ipswich Regent on Saturday, October 15. Photo: Contributed

Level 42 return to the Ipswich Regent on Saturday, October 15. Photo: Contributed - Credit: Archant

Level 42, one of the 1980s’ most respected bands, visits the Ipswich Regent this week.

Following on from the highly successful Sirens shows of 2014 and 2015, they will perform their greatest hits, plus hopefully some tracks from new EP Sirens II.

The band, still fronted by bassist Mark “Thunderthumbs” King and original keyboard player Mike Lindup, has a unique style, heavily steeped in jazz-funk, and Mark’s style of bass playing earned him and has them many plaudits.

Hits such as Something About Love, Running In The Family and the number three smash Lessons In Love stamped their presence on the decade and they went on to sell more than 30million albums worldwide while enjoying an enviable string of chart hits.

“We’ve been quite busy this year,” says Isle of Wight-born Mark.

“We were in the Far East earlier this year and played at the Singapore Jazz Festival. Also, we played the North Sea Jazz Festival which was great and Curacao in South America, plus we’ve been busy with summer festivals. In fact, we seem to have been everywhere: Turkey, Santiago in Chile, Buenos Aires, Doncaster.

“The shows have gone down fantastically well and what’s good about these festivals is the audiences are non-partisan so you’re playing to a lot of potentially new fans. I think we managed to get some new fans as we were on the top of our game and there were a lot of happy faces and happy promoters.”

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The band has been so busy that the EP won’t be ready in time for the tour.

“No, I’m afraid it’s not quite ready, but it will be out sometime next year. The reason we were so busy wasn’t just because of all the live dates; we were in the studio working on the arrangements for the brass section as we have an extended band this time.”

As for the band’s appearance on stage...

“We’ll be on stage as long as we’re allowed to be. And we’ll be coming up with all the hit records that everyone wants to hear like Lessons In Love and Something About You. Plus, we will be playing some songs this time I wouldn’t normally have thought of playing.

“We are hoping to do If You Were Mine from the Guaranteed album, as well as Forever Now and Micro Kid which take a lot of prepping. The years fall away when you get on stage, so it will be an amazing tour.”

The band will be just as busy next year.

“That’s right,” Mark grins. “In fact, it’ll be more of the same. We’ve already got Spain and Tel Aviv and more UK festivals. Plus, as we tour bi-annually, we’ll be touring the UK again in 2018. My thumbs are all good and I’m raring to go – bring it on.”.

Level 42 will be playing the Ipswich Regent on Saturday, October 15.