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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Sep-18 > NEXT-LEVEL THINKING

NEXT-LEVEL THINKING

INSPIRED AS A YOUNGSTER BY THE JAZZ GREATS, MARK KING SOON REINVENTED BASS PLAYING AND TOOK LEVEL 42 INTO THE UPPER ECHELONS OF THE POP CHARTS WITH AN IRRESISTIBLY FUNKY SOUND
The current Level 42 line-up pictured at the Royal Albert Hall in 2014. From left: Sean Freeman (sax), Nichol Thomson (trombone), Dan Carpenter (trumpet), Pete Ray Biggin (drums), Mike Lindup (keyboards), Mark King (bass) and Nathan King (guitar).

When Classic Pop catches up with Mark King, the Level 42 bass supremo is in winningly feisty form. “I’m the guy who has been pushing this ahead and making sure it kept going through thick and thin,” he says. “Everybody needs to have a dose of reality and realise that these things don’t just run on their own. Somebody has to push this through all the time. The reality of why the band is still here is because yours truly kept it going.”

With the latest incarnation of the band about to embark on an extensive UK tour in October, supported by The Blow Monkeys, the legacy, it seems, is in rude health. So much so that King feels no urgency to work on new material any time soon.

“I get an idea and I think it sounds great at 11 o’clock at night. Then I go in the next day with a cup of coffee and I think, ‘this sucks arse’. Which always begs the question, ‘is that really what people want to hear from us?’ After this amount of time, you’ve got these fans who come out and love us for the music that we’ve made. And it’s a hell of a catalogue, over 300 songs that we’ve got to choose from. Social media affords you this sort of window on what the hardcore fans, the real fans, really want. They’re not saying, ‘Let’s have some new music’. They’re saying, ‘Are you going to play Good Man In A Storm on this tour? You’ve never played it live.’

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About Classic Pop

Issue 44 of Classic Pop magazine is on sale now! In the latest issue we speak to Soft Cell's Marc Almond and Dave Ball as they prepare for their farewell gig at the O2 in London and release a career-spanning boxset, Keychains & Snowstorms. We also take a look at their Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret LP in our Classic Album feature. Elsewhere, we have an exclusive interview with the world's biggest record producer, Mark Ronson, catch up with The Proclaimers who return with their politicised new album Angry Cyclist and talk to Level 42's Mark King about his life in pop's funkiest band. This month, we look back on the glory days of house music and Toyah tells us how she brought the punk aesthetic to the pop world. For boombox fans, we take an in-depth look at why cassettes are making a return and we also serve up a buyer's guide to the wonderful Luther Vandross. Our packed reviews section features new albums from Prince, Paul Weller, Lenny Kravitz, Paul Simon and many more while the reissues section includes Pet Shop Boys, the latest David Bowie boxset and Curiosity Killed The Cat. On the gig front, we head to Hyde Park for The Cure's only European show of the year, delve into the latest Let's Rock festival in Shrewsbury and check out gigs by Nick Heyward, Del Amitri and others. Enjoy the issue!