Gig Seeker Pro


New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Darkness on the Dancefloor - New Darkwave Ravers - Livan and Legion Within"

Livan – Happy Returns

Back in my days at KSPC FM, I always loved it when I found a secret nugget that could leap across the spectrum, simultaneously satisfying several basic musical needs. Being totally immersed in the gloom and doom genre with bands like Southern Death Cult, early Echo and the Bunnymen, and Theater of Hate, I wanted my music dark and menacing, weighty, hinting at the deep vacancies echoing in my soul. At the same time, I wasn’t looking to commit suicide; I still wanted the music to have a definite kick, a killer bass line and enough punch and vim to get my ass out of the chair and dancing around the studio. When I found a band that could successfully combine these disparate needs. I was in heaven. Bands like Killing Joke, Gang of Four, Tones on Tail, heck even Gene Loves Jezebel and Dormanuu found the inherent groove in the darkside.

Now there’s Livan.

Ask the guy who his influences are and I’m sure you’ll get names like David Bowie, Peter Murphy, and Bauhaus, and while those sounds are there, in truth there’s much more. Bring in a some muscular guitar like early Clash, some of the industrial moodiness of Nine Inch Nails, a smattering of the darker tones of Joy Division, and what results is as much a journey through tone and mood as it is music; all amped up enough to keep the lights swirling in glorious kaleidoscopes on the dancefloor.

Beginning with a stabbing percussion, “King of the World,” starts us on our charging ride of post punk dance. Sounding far more Peter Murphy than Bauhaus, sneering, snotty Bowie-esque vocals layer over the hammering beat, darkly funky bass, and raining guitar chords with a heavy dose of brooding. Check out the sneer in Livan’s voice as he rages into the chorus, which immediately launches the song into the realm of neo-industrial dance at its best. Fully theatrical in it’s approach, and way, way, way over the top, it’s not quite dance music for the goth crowd but enough to fill the floor of any post-punk raver. Flickering lights, fluorescent facepaint, tie-dyed hair. Yep, it’s all here. If I’d put this on back in the studio, I probably would have missed my next segue, too busy dancing my white boy ass off in the hallways to notice the song was ending. This is dance music I can get behind. Or get my behind behind.
- Ripple Music

"Livan: Happy Returns Review"

Whenever I listen to an artist for the first time, I always check his or her website and read the bio. Livan’s is certainly humble: “When creating music is a matter of survival, then the product is nothing less than awe-inspiring. As the phoenix who rises from the ashes to live once more, Livan’s eclectic music is the epiphany, which has allowed him to soar.” Wow. I haven’t read anything that overwrought since my first college paper, but to be fair, Livan does have an interesting story: he was born in Greece, where his father and grandfather were prominent politicians who were exiled, leading his family to relocate to England where Livan resented being the son of a hero. After turning to alcohol, drugs, and gambling, he ended up in prison and then addicted to heroin. He claims to have had an epiphany on a rainy Good Friday where he looked up at the sky and declared “This can’t be the end … life has to be better than this.” He turned to music and has been creating ever since, which is excellent news because while his album Happy Returns is not quite awe-inspiring, it is very good.

Livan’s music is industrial pop punk/alt-rock, and while it’s processed, it still sounds gritty, raw, and fun with crashing guitar and thumping basslines. It has a Depeche Mode meets Midnight Oil with a touch of Nine Inch Nails and Billy Idol kind of feel. Livan’s vocals especially remind me of Midnight Oil’s Peter Garret in terms of range and cadence while his lyrics most resemble a cranked Depeche Mode.

Most of the songs on Happy Returns are fast and intense, but the lyrics are often personal and sometimes tongue-in-cheek. From the title track, a song about losing control: “No way to resist the temptation…and a killer on the loose tonight...I wish you many happy returns.” “King of the World” is the most fun track, and I dare you not to move while listening to it and its amazing bassline. “Underground” and “Liberated Mr. Hyde” are other standouts, as is Livan’s cover of Tears for Fears’ “Shout.”

The two slowest songs, “Where I Bleed” and “Still Around” are both excellent and showcase Livan’s vocals perfectly as he gives them a vulnerability not found on the more rocking tracks. I especially love the slow build and gorgeous melody of “Where I Bleed.” “Ghost and “Kiss and Tell” are the weakest songs, but neither can be called bad.

Happy Returns is an indie album, and while the sound is raw enough, the first-rate production values and stellar musical work are impressive for a non-label album. I’ve seen Livan referenced as an electronic artist, but while Happy Returns has industrial overtones, it is much more alterna-punk than electronica. However you classify it, it is a very good disc and I think we’ll be hearing much more from Livan in the future.


"CD Review: Livan “Happy Returns”"

If anyone is going to get me to listen to anything with electronica overtones, Livan(Lie’van) is the man who can do it. I am normally repelled by music that is heavily processed and industrial, but Livan brings plenty of rock guitars and catchy riffs to keep me listening. I would liken his style to a more rocking version of Depeche Mode.

His music comes at you fast and furious, with deep and intelligent lyrics (“do your math religiously”) that pull you into his turbulent world. Livan has witnessed the hardships of addiction, politics, exile, poverty, and prison, giving him a copious amount of material to draw upon for his poetic explorations. Livan communicates his struggles with sincerity and humanity, never being preachy or assuming. Vocally, Livan has a good range, but stays predominantly baritone, sounding somewhere between two Peters: Peter Murphy and Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil.

Despite the intensity of the majority of the tracks, it is when Livan slows it down that he appeals to me most. “Where I Bleed” and “Still Around” are fantastic and have huge cross-over potential. On these tracks, Livan’s strong voice is at its most emotive and the choruses are most memorable. I would like to also call your attention to the blistering opening track, “King of the World” and the very melodic “Underground”. Many of you will also want to take note of his industrialized cover of “Shout” originally by Tears for Fears.


Democr[i]cy - CD Album
Happy Returns - CD Album
If Only CD Single
Life Is Smiling - CD Single
Off The Grid - CD Album (release date TBA)



Greek-born, London-bred singer Livan is a study in contradictions—he has a masters degree in psychology; loves the Clash, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Bauhaus; has opened for Def Leppard, and cites Lord Byron as his favorite wordsmith. But Off the Grid, LIVAN’s (pronounced Lie’van) third release, is a cohesive, five-song EP of dark yet manically energetic post-punk rock. With captivating songs like the Vampiric, Spaghetti Western-esque “Little White Lies” and the wicked, propulsive “Undead,” Off the Grid is at once raw, primal and polished, hearkening back to the darker-edged British bands of the mid- 70s to mid-90s that influenced LIVAN.

“I called the EP Off the Grid because of the digital recording revolution, so many people are making records in their bedrooms with ProTools,” the songwriter notes. “They lay everything on the ‘grid.’ But it’s soulless. It fails to grab the onstage vibe of musical interaction that’s inherent in a live band.” LIVAN, together with guitarist Will Crewdson (ex of influential UK rockers Rachel Stamp, Malcolm McLaren and Johnette Napolitano) and drummer Damon Wilson (Ray Davies, Joss Stone) tracked Off the Grid old-school style with engineer Nat Chan in London. “We recorded the whole thing with no click, as we play it live,” LIVAN says. “It’s like it used to be, like rolling the tape…so if there are glitches on the record, we’ll live with that; it’s real.” Additionally, in late 2010, Off the Grid’s five songs will become part of a full-length, as yet unnamed CD.

Off the Grid is LIVAN’s third release in as many years, and the prolific writer and performer (who composes on bass, guitar and piano) has grown exponentially with each offering. 2008’s political and fraught Democricy led to 2009’s Happy Returns, which LIVAN calls “punchy, raw and sarcastic.” American radio embraced LIVAN’s, Happy Returns’ title track hitting #8 on the FMQB radio charts. LIVAN’s first US promo tour included well-received stops in New York and Los Angeles, and reinforced the performer’s desire to return to the US for a longer tour. Rock & Roll Report raved that Happy Returns was “fast and furious, with deep and intelligent lyrics,” praising LIVAN’s range and voice “as sounding somewhere between two Peters: Peter Murphy and Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil.” Other reviewers noted Happy Returns’ “mixture of the raw industrial sounds of Nine Inch Nails, with the guitar force of the Clash and the flashy showmanship of David Bowie.”

LIVAN’s commanding stage presence, combined with the provocative musicality of songs like the Nosferatu-meets-Type O Negative approach of “The Joker,” explains why LIVAN sells out 2,500-seat clubs in his native Greece, his roughly decadent appeal, dark sexuality and edgy intellect earning him fans of all ages and persuasions. The ultimate for LIVAN is playing live, and he very much believes that “a song is interpreted by the listener. If I wrote it initially about the feeling or hurt or joy in a relationship, the listener might listen and feel completely different. If that happens, then I’ve succeeded lyrically as a writer.” One song making the transition from Happy Returns to Off the Grid is “King of the World,” a song one critic called “a charging ride of post punk dance…. darkly funky bass, and raining guitar chords with a heavy dose of brooding.” LIVAN re-recorded it for the EP, and while some lyrics directly reference Prime Minister Gordon Brown, LIVAN notes, “it’s mainly about how we wish we could have the power to do ‘X, Y, Z’ when you’re frustrated with bureaucracy or politicians. So if you could be ‘King of the World’ for a day, you could fix things.”

LIVAN’s compelling, whisper-to-a-scream approach to music is contemporary and cinematic. Off the Grid acknowledges decades of influential London-based bands, but it’s forward-thinking music that also invokes the romantic drama of the afore-mentioned Lord Byron, while the dark, passionate, sometimes aggro vibe is tempered by flashes of unexpected, sly humor. It’s a unique combination that resonates with critics and fans alike. “I love when people sing along to songs--verses, not just the chorus. That’s priceless to me,” LIVAN notes, concluding: “My goal is to make people feel. When the hair goes up on the back of your neck, when you strike that primal connection: That’s what I desire and demand out of my music.”