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Country/Folk

Billy Bragg

Events

22 Upcoming Events

United Kingdom

19 Events
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About

Folk troubadour and activist

If social conscience is the glue that binds punk and folk, then Billy Bragg is that adhesive brought to life. Equal parts Woody Guthrie and Joe Strummer, Bragg’s ragged folk anthems have always been squarely on the side of the underdog, punching up with an eternally potent mix of righteous fury, laser-guided wit and romanticism.

Bragg started off with short-lived stints in punk bands and the army, before finding a more appropriate environment working in a record store. He spent his free time writing songs and touring wherever he could find a gig. By the time he released his debut EP Life’s A Riot With Spy Vs Spy in 1983, it was evident that he’d already built up a solid audience.

His 1984 album, Brewing Up With Billy Bragg, coincided with the miners’ strikes in England, during which Bragg became a familiar face as he regularly performed and spoke at events and rallies around the country. Bragg’s first significant hit followed in 1985, via Kirsty McColl’s cover of his song New England. A year later, he scored his first top ten album with Talking With The Taxman About Poetry.

Bragg’s one and only No.1 was a cover of The Beatles’ She’s Leaving Home, released in 1988 as a double A-side with Wet Wet Wet’s cover of With A Little Help From My Friends. In 1989, he released Workers Playtime, which saw Bragg record with a full band for the first time and examine his own growing fame on his seminal song Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards.

The fuller sound remained for 1991’s Don’t Try This At Home, which yielded another hit in the shape of Sexuality. Following his 1996 album William Bloke, Bragg was selected by Woodie Guthrie’s family to complete a treasure trove of unfinished songs left behind by the great folk singer, teaming up with Wilco for the project. The album was released in 1998 as Mermaid Avenue. A second volume followed in 2000 and a third in 2013.

In 1999, Bragg formed the Blokes with Ian McLagan of The Small Faces, alongside Ben Mandelson, Lu Edmonds, Simon Edwards and Martyn Baker. Together, they recorded England, Half English, released in 2002. In 2003, Bragg released a best of compilation Must I Paint You A Picture? as well as a career-spanning box set and re-issues of four earlier albums.

Studio albums were intermittent, with a six-year gap separating 2008’s Mr Love & Justice from its predecessor. It would be another five years before Bragg released Tooth And Nail, produced by American singer-songwriter and kindred spirit, Joe Henry. Henry would team up with Bragg again in 2016 for Shine A Light, a tribute to American railroads, recorded on a train journey from Chicago to LA.

In 2017, Bragg released his response to Brexit and Donald Trump, a six-song EP called Bridges Not Walls. He followed it in 2019 with Best Of Billy Bragg At The BBC, a collection of live performances spanning Bragg’s entire career. 

In 2020, Bragg confirmed a huge UK and Irish tour for autumn 2021. In July 2021, he also announced a special global live-stream performance on 9 September 2021.

News

Billy Bragg announces live-stream show

Billy Bragg announces live-stream show

The folk singer-songwriter and activist will perform a global online concert with his band on 9 September 2021. Tickets go on sale from 09:00 on Friday 23 July 2021.

FAQS

Yes, Billy Bragg is playing a gig that will be streamed globally on 9 September 2021. Find more details here.

Billy Bragg is touring the UK from 27 October – 27 November 2021.

Billy Bragg will be visiting the following UK cities on his 2021 tour:

  • Oxford
  • Southampton
  • Reading
  • Bristol
  • Guildford
  • Cambridge
  • Brighton
  • Southend-on-Sea
  • Folkestone
  • Dundee
  • Glasgow
  • Liverpool
  • Birmingham
  • Cardiff
  • Belfast
  • Nottingham
  • Sheffield
  • London

Tickets for Billy Bragg’s live stream go on sale from 09:00 on Friday 23 July 2021. Tickets for Billy Bragg's 2021 autumn tour dates are on sale now.