The Levellers – Recruiting Sergeant EP


Review by Ian Savage

On The Fiddle Recordings

Anyone with any knowledge of The Levellers’ approach to music and society in general won’t be surprised to learn that this collection of the band’s most obviously anti-war songs is being released in support of the War Child charity. In terms of musical content, there’s not a lot here that a hardcore fan of the band won’t have heard before – a re-working of the title track featuring some of the glitterati of the UK’s folk scene, a live version of ‘Another Man’s Cause’, plus three album tracks you may own already.

There’s a lot to make this worth buying for the casual fan even apart from the charity aspect, mind. The contrast between the now slightly limited-sounding album version of ‘Recruiting Sergeant’ and the more Pogues-esque folked-up version (thanks to the efforts of The Copper Family, Dan Walsh and Shona Kipling) is marvellous, and the whole EP holds together nicely.

It’s very hard to give any kind of negative review to a release with such noble intentions – if you like The Levellers, buy it for the re-working of the title track; if you dabble around the band, buy it as a collection of their proudest pacifist musical moments; if you’ve no interest in the band at all but fancy being altruistic and gaining a few worthy additions to your MP3 collection, buy it anyway. Worthwhile, in every sense of the word.

The Levellers – Recruiting Sergeant EP8 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Recruiting Sergeant (War Child version)
  2. Another Man’s Cause(live)
  3. Not In My Name
  4. Barrel Of The Gun
  5. Recruiting Sergeant (album version)