Interview With Levi Lovell / The Big Lovin’

tweety stuff @ronanfromcork

This was first published in The Evening Echo [Cork] on 2018-9-27, text underneath photo.

Echo - TID - Big Lovin'

The stars have aligned, and the world is ours for the taking”, the confidence of Levi Lovell, the frontman of The Big Lovin’, can’t be doubted and judging by ‘Adiadiadio’ – their debut single – that confidence is well and truly justified.

The band perform an engaging, urgent live show and back it up with very well-rehearsed and delivered original material, they have been likened by some to Irish songwriter Pugwash, and on more international level to acts such as Ben Folds or Beck, Levi accepts those comparisons.

He reckons they can trace their influences further back than that, “there’s certainly a lineage that can be traced back through those bands and the likes of ELO, all the way back to The Beatles and The Beach Boys, and beyond. There’s really no end to that rabbit hole, you can dig as deep as you like.”

“What I love about that kind of songwriting is that they weren’t afraid to have fun, and they were so adventurous. I’m not gonna sit here and talk about the general quality of current pop music  – I frankly don’t have the time – but the main thing that bothers me is that it all takes itself terribly seriously. I want to show people that, believe it or not, you actually can have a good time listening to music – and with The Big Lovin’, you can have ridiculous craic listening to some bangin’ tunes.”

His take on the quality of current pop music is undermined by his next claim, “I don’t really listen to other people’s music, find it rather dull. I usually have my own records on repeat in my chateau”, he then explained – presumably with his tongue still in his cheek – how his band operates, “democracy is a dirty word in The Big Lovin’. The mere mention of it results in swift re-education for the guilty band member. My rule is absolute! West Cork has proved a particularly fanatical region for my music, so I poached most of my musicians for the band there.”

Levi is reluctant to give away much about how he developed as a performer, or how he put the band together, as he puts it “you can find out my origin story behind a paywall! What I will say is I returned to West Cork in 2017 from a six-year journey of self-discovery in the Far East. By stealing songs from the locals I met on my travels as well as the ones I’ve written, I have amassed a deep repertoire of sure-fire hits – so I’m destined to make a quick buck in the capitalist markets of the West. With my crack team of musicians, I’m conquering the known world by force.”

Part of the charm of the music video The Big Lovin’ have released in support of ‘AdiAdiAdio’ is how they’ve mixed the tropes of the idea of classic rock and roll bad boys with priests and nuns, the use of a convertible is very reminiscent of ZZ Top as well, Levi credits everyone he thinks contributed to the video.

“I happen to be an excellent director/screenwriter/ actor/producer on top of my many other talents so that means video is just another medium for The Big Lovin’ to convert more unsuspecting listeners over to our side of the fence. The idea was simple, we filmed the average day of a gang of priests. The results are hilarious. Seeing is believing.”

On occasions Levi lets slip that forming the band wasn’t the limit of his ambitions, “let’s call a spade a spade, the band is just a front for a cult, it’s as simple as that really. We use the subliminal power of music – really good music – to get our hooks into prospective cultlings, and we just keep on growing, swallowing up everything in our path. Do you lack confidence? Or frequently feel arrogant? Join The Big Lovin’ today!”

Playing a stand out show at last weekend’s Clonakilty International Guitar Festival (the festival’s brochure claims The Big Lovin’ are “the first cult to be endorsed by our festival”), as well as recent performances at Limerick’s inaugural Feile na Gréine, and successful trips to Dublin means the band’s reputation keeps increasing, which Levi feels in vital, “The Big Lovin’ always needs to grow. It’s hunger is insatiable. The beast we have created is loose upon the land and nothing can withstand it’s swagger. It rolls into festivals and music venues, pubs and taverns, high streets and alleyways, towers and tenement buildings. All shall fall under the pall of The Big Lovin’’

More about The Big Lovin’ can be found and heard at

They play Cyprus Avenue on Thursday 4 October,
De Barra’s, Clonakiltyon Friday 19 October, and
The Mariner, Bantry on Friday 20 October.   on

‘Adiadiadio’ is available now on Spotify, Youtube etc


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