Rock surge

Mersey Rising: Get to know The Levons in of our new issue Liverpool bands folio – they’re dosing the scene with rebel energy
By Alex James Taylor | Music | 10 March 2015
Photography Amy Gwatkin
Fashion Vincent Levy.

The Levons shot by Amy Gwatkin for HERO 12: Darkness Falls

Top image left to right: Phil wears jacket by PAUL SMITH SS15; his own jeans; Nathaniel wears jacket and shirt by DSQUARED2 SS15; jeans from LEVI’S; Danny wears shirt from LEVI’S; his own jacket, t-shirt and jeans

Taken from HERO 12: Darkness Falls

The Levons represent a skinny-slacked, polo-necked link to a time when the aroma of girls’ piss filled clubs because they just couldn’t hold it in after seeing George Harrison on stage, all brown fringe and weeping guitar. Named after Levon Helm, lead singer of The Band, they began life playing acoustic Beatles covers. Yet the addition of these two ‘B’s’ doesn’t necessarily equal The Levons. Go further down the alphabet towards The Grateful Dead, Paul Weller and The Faces and you’re closer to reaching the source.

“I’m a red, the other three are blues,” smiles lead singer Nathaniel Cummings, explaining the band’s football allegiances, divided by two rival points on the sport’s colour wheel. “But those three secretly know that Liverpool are the best team in the city,” he adds hastily, bursting into monologue about how the band first met. “Phil and Danny are brothers, so they didn’t have much choice, and as a group we all met through mutual friends, we all share the same interests and music taste so instantly became really good pals.”

The recent release of their debut EP has encouraged them. “Everyone’s been so sound,” a prominent Scouse inflection urges the suffix upwards, “the reaction to it has been boss, so supportive and complementary, we appreciate it so much.”

The applaud is entirely justified; their sound is remarkably accomplished for a band so new, you notice the catchiness first – you can wonder how they achieved it later. Debut single The Other Guy, built around lead guitarist Danny Murphy’s (not the most convenient name for an Everton fan) modernist blues, could’ve been a Britpop classic. Whilst Trainwreck skanks, throwing a curveball in the blues mix with those plucky ska guitar upstrokes – more Strummer than Suggs – dipped in a rich Joe Meek reverb.

Considering The Levons’ musical heroes form a ‘who’s who’ of rock rebellion, should we expect any antics? “Well, in Glasgow we got kicked out our hostel at 4am and Danny had to carry a blown up double air bed through the city centre on a Saturday night,” Cummings recalls. “We were wandering around with a Glaswegian woman who was helping us find our van that all four of us had to sleep in. We eventually found it, had a game of one bounce and went to bed.” Whilst not quite on par with driving a Rolls-Royce into a swimming pool, Cummings’ story could be mistaken for a deleted scene from A Hard Day’s Night.

The Levons’ debut self-titled EP is out now. Follow The Levons on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud. Listen to the playlist the band recently made for us hereCheck out the rest of our full Liverpool bands folio, kicked off with Bill Ryder Jones’ intro here

Additional image credits: Photo assistant NATHAN CHANDLER; special thanks to CAMP AND FURNACE


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