Photos and words by Dave Lawrence

LEVEL 42 are on the road again with their Living It Up tour and last Friday they took the stage at the Barbican as part of an extensive UK jaunt.

The band may not have released a full studio album of new material since 2006 - they did release an EP called Sirens in 2013 - but what they do have is a catalogue of well-loved songs and a plenty of talent.

Singer and bass player Mark King remains the driving force behind the band and he was joined by his brother Nathan on guitar, Pete Ray Biggin on drums and keyboardist Mike Lindup and a three-piece horn section.

Dressed in a colourful array of Hawaiian shirts the band looked very happy to be on stage again and wasted no time in transporting the audience back to their younger days with a 90-minute set that included a steady stream of memorable, radio-friendly songs like Lessons in Love, The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up) and a wonderful version of Something About You.

Mixed in between these numbers were plenty of established crowd favourites such as Kansas City Milkman, World Machine and Children Say.

Opening solidly with Almost There they followed up with a very melodic To Be With You Again and by the third number - Running In The Family - a significant number of the audience were coaxed out of their seats.

King, of course, is a formidable virtuoso and his percussive bass playing skills - his thumb hammering away on the strings as his left hand blurs up and down the fretboard - were on full display throughout the night with a number of funky solos particularly on Heathrow and Love Games.

York Press: Level 42 at York Barbican - photos by Dave LawrenceLevel 42 at York Barbican - photos by Dave Lawrence

He was happy to chat away to the audience throughout the show too, at one point poking fun at the band's age and thanking the audience for their interest in archaeology.

The talented Lindup is an integral member of the band’s sound, his beautiful keyboard intro to Love Meeting Love was a joy to hear and Starchild also displayed his vocal talents - and those of the horn section - to great effect.

The encore which included Heaven in My Hands, The Chinese Way and Hot Water had a real party vibe to it - just what we needed to warm ourselves up before heading out into the chill night air.

Opening the show were The Christians - who I last show opening at the same venue for Belinda Carlisle earlier this year.York Press: Christians in support at Level 42 gig in YorkChristians in support at Level 42 gig in York

Garry Christian and his bandmates can always be relied upon to provide a soulful entertaining set and this was no exception as they performed a short set that included Born Again, Ideal World, Words, Forgotten Town, Hooverville and Harvest for the World all interspersed with Garry's entertaining chat.