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Level 42 frontman Mark King says fans will hear all the big 80s hit at Rochester Castle Gardens concert

By Medway Messenger reporter

You’ve booked the tickets, organised the trip, you’re really looking forward to seeing one of your favourite bands from way back when.

And then you get there only to find the gig focuses on new songs that you’re not really familiar with. It’s good - but not what you wanted.

Level 42 bass legend Mark King is keen to reassure fans coming to the Castle Concerts that they won’t be disappointed with the choice of music.

Level 42 wowed Rochester Castle crowd
Level 42 wowed Rochester Castle crowd

While the band has continued to release new material, they will definitely play the chart hits that made Level 42 a top name on the 80s pop scene.

“We’ve got such a lot of material to chose from because we had a lot of albums,” said Mark. “I know what it’s like when I go to see someone in concert, I still want to hear my favourite songs, I don’t necessarily want to hear loads of new music.

“So we certainly won’t be doing just new stuff, you’re going to get Something About You, Lessons in Love and all the hits really.”

Level 42 began life in the late 1970s on the Isle of Wight where Mark and his original bandmates were brought up.

They signed a record deal with Polydor in 1981 and their first single for that label, Love Games, was a top 40 hit followed by a self-titled debut album, which did well throughout Europe.

A string of hits followed before the original line-up came to an end in 1987 and the group announced it was disbanding in 1994. Mark had a solo career before the band reunited in 2001 and now gigs regularly as well as releasing new material.

Crowds are set for a treat at all summer concerts in Rochester
Crowds are set for a treat at all summer concerts in Rochester

“Our last tour was in 2010 and now we are doing 18 dates around the UK. Next week we are playing in Bournemouth with Pixie Lott and Paloma Faith,” he said. “After the tour we are off out into Europe to promote the Sirens EP that we just put out.

“It’s very dance orientated and it was made in collaboration with John Morales who is a New York remixer and DJ. Sirens kind of marks a return to where we began back in the 1980s. We kind of went out as part of what was called the funk mafia and it takes us back to then.”

Mark said he was looking forward to the gigs. “Performing live is fantastic, you get such a buzz from playing on stage and I love playing the Level 42 hits because as a bass player they’re a great vehicle for showing off I suppose.”

The Rochester gig on Wednesday, July 16 will be Mark’s first visit to the town but he has heard good things about the Castle Concert series.

“Two of the sound guys I’ve worked with for the last 12 years are local lads and they work on the Castle Concerts every year. They tell me it’s a really great family festival and I love that. I’m a family guy and I’ve got four kids, all grown up now of course, but I understand how important it is for families to have great events to go to and share time together.

“I am really really looking forward to coming to Rochester and playing for you all, as are the other guys. Let’s hope the weather is great because we’re going to have the most fantastic time.”

The 80s night on July 16 will be completed with an appearance from special guests Shakatak. Other acts taking to the Castle Concerts’ stage are Westlife’s Shane Filan with The Voice UK finalist Jamie Johnson on July 17, the sold-out UB40 gig on July 18 and the Castle Proms on July 19.

For more information and tickets visit www.thecastleconcerts.co.uk

The Sirens EP is available at www.level42.com and on iTunes.

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