Billy Bragg at Rough Trade East
Promoting his new LP Tooth & Nail, folk-rock singer-songwriter Billy Bragg performed a one-off short acoustic set in London before jetting back to the US where he’s currently on tour. Despite tiredness due to jet lag, Bragg entertained the audience with tunes from his latest album and a trip down memory lane with Sexuality and Greetings To The New Brunette, which pleased both old fans and new recruits.
Bragg and his acoustic guitar delighted the crowd who sang along to his sometimes funny, sometimes serious lyrics. The singer introduced every song, explaining their origins, with the audience interacting with laughs and shouts. Between chanting “Free Pussy Riot!” and expressing his world-views, such as supporting gay unions, to which he dedicated No One Knows Nothing Anymore, Bragg confirmed that he is unashamedly socially engaged even though he doesn’t like to be labelled as a political songwriter.
Writing songs is often a personal experience (January Song and Handyman Blues are good examples of this) but Bragg understands the power of music as an effective medium of communication. His music is a reminder that lyrics and music penetrate minds.
Bragg paid homage to St. Patrick’s Day by playing On Ragland Road, a Patrick Kavanagh poem originally recorded by Luke Kelly. The last song, Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards, left the audience in a merry mood for a pint of beer before heading home.
Photo: John kell
For further information and future events visit Billy Bragg’s website here.
Watch the video for No One Knows Nothing Anymore here: