Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Night Of Love & Justice

My intrepid friend Carlos and I saw a very on-form Billy Bragg at Camden's Roundhouse last night; thought he'd be appearing with his band, but it was an almost two hour long solo set, and quite marvellous for that.

You know you're in for a good night when he enters with the faithful green guitar, opens with 'World Turned Upside Down' and does 'St Swithin's Day' third song in.

His choice of material managed to be generous and fresh and home-crowd atmosphere warm; cracking songs from this and this, a handful from the new one (all very good - buy), an acoustic interlude half way through and - "So Echo & The Bunnymen are playing 'Ocean Rain' with a symphony orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall..." - all of 'Life's A Riot' as an encore.

Did we nip afterwards to the boozer and miss our connections home? Of course we did. Did I wait for the night bus a long time in the cold? Hey, rock and flippin' roll.

These are from a concert at Salisbury Town Hall in June 2006 first given away here.

Billy Bragg (with Ian McLagan) - 'I Keep Faith' (live)
Billy Bragg - 'Old Clash Fan Fight Song' (live)


  1. I love Bill best when he's solo - even on record/cd, but I think most people would say that.

    I saw him doing A New England on The Tube all those years ago - nearly 25 of them Bloody Hell - and coincidentally I did my first Saturday job the very next day. I was 14 and my dad basically took me with him to a job he was doing and I was dogsbody to him and the team he was working with. I got a fiver and went straight to the Virgin Megastore and bought Lifes A Riot. It still stands up as one of the best records I've ever heard.

    One of the most surprising too: really commercial catchy songs, that said something important and really didn't sound much like anything else. Except maybe The Jam with Buckler/Foxton turned down completely. And maybe not.

    But the best and worst thing I've experienced with Bill live is his story telling. I saw him do a three hour set once and only about half of that was songs. That man can talk!

  2. Ah, you're both enthusiasts, nothing wrong with that : )

  3. I love your blog and apologise for not leaving more comments.

  4. Say three Hail Marys and give up the drink for a week.

  5. Ooh! You have whet my appetite. Roll on the end of April. Recently returned to Bill with my own 6-string fumblings. Hard to beat.

  6. He tells lots of father/son stories I think you will enjoy x

  7. Most excellent! Tark Park Salute, while a thing of wonder, is far too sad to play every 'set'...!