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Ardent Left Wing Activist Billy Bragg has been at the forefront of British Folk for over thirty years. His punk rock influenced protest songs have inspired a generation to question and challenge the politics that have been thrust upon them.

Stephen William Bragg started his musical career in 1977 with the pub rock band Riff Raff with Wiggy. Meeting with little success after four years the disillusioned Bragg signed up for the army hoping to make a difference, buying himself out after completing the three months basic training when he realised that soldiering was not for him.

Upon returning to civilian life Bragg also returned to music. Now working under the title Spy Vs Spy, Bragg secured a record deal with Charisma Records by entering their office via subterfuge, pretending to be a TV repairman in order to meet A&R man Peter Jenner who would later become his manager.

His break was to come upon a chance hearing of John Peel complaining he was hungry whilst broadcasting on the radio. Bragg turned up to the BBC still in his football boots armed with a mushroom biryani and a copy of his record Life’s A Riot With Spy Vs Spy. Peel played the song at the wrong speed as the 12” was cut to play at 45rpm and played the song a second time in recompense.

Braggs first record had been a mix of politically charged agitation songs and love songs, the combination of which would characterise his approach for his whole career and could be heard on the 1984 album Brewing Up With Billy Bragg and Talking With The Taxman About Poetry released in 1986, the latter of which became his first Top 10 album.

From the release of his second album Bragg began working under his name and began to experiment more, using a full band for the 1988 album Workers Playtime and including a brass section on tracks for the mini-LP The Internationale in 1990.

The upcoming Gulf War loomed large and provided some inspiration for the 1991 record Don’t Try This At Home. It also included the anti-homophobia anthem Sexuality which was also penned with guitar legend Johnny Marr.

Bragg became further interested in the politics of identity and the personal as heard on the 1996 record William Bloke and with the release of English, Half English in 2002 which questioned the nature of nationality due to the rise at the time of the Far Right BNP. His music has contributed to their subsequent decline and failure.

The songwriter’s popularity grew ever greater with the release of his latest records Mr Love & Justice in 2008 and Tooth & Nail in 2013.

Billy Bragg tickets are about to go on sale with Gigantic, so set your personal reminder right now.

See the left-wing legend take over Wedgewood Rooms for three nights in July 2019.

Always ensure you book your concert tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Artist bio

Billy Bragg has been a fearless recording artist, tireless live performer and peerless political campaigner for over 30 years. Among the former Saturday boy’s albums are his punk-charged debut Life’s a Riot With Spy Vs Spy, the more love-infused Workers Playtime, pop classic Don’t Try This At Home, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee-timed treatise on national identity England, Half-English, and his stripped-down tenth, Tooth and Nail, his most successful since the early 90s. The intervening three decades have been marked by a number one hit single, having a street named after him, being the subject of a South Bank Show, appearing onstage at Wembley Stadium, curating Leftfield at Glastonbury, sharing spotted dick with a Cabinet minister in the House of Commons cafeteria, being mentioned in Bob Dylan’s memoir and meeting the Queen. At their best, Billy’s songs present ‘the perfect Venn diagram between the political and the personal’ (the Guardian).

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Billy Bragg fan reviews (4) 5.0

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Not just a Gig but a Life Experience

Billy Bragg performing a hat-trick of sold-out nights at Portsmouth's Wedgewood Rooms was nothing short of superb. Spanning his 42-year career, he played a mixture of early punky anthems from 'Life's A Riot' to the 80s classics from 'Brewing Up With Billy Bragg' and 'Talking With the Taxman About Poetry', 'Worker's Playtime' and 'Don't Try This At Home' from the 90s to the more recent 'Tooth and Nail'. The gigs were all at once astounding, uplifting, hilarious, passionate, emotional, empowering and just vital. And so very relevant in the UK's current worrying political climate. Billy was wonderful to watch - his easy banter with the crowd gathered laughs and guffaws and his political commentary was rousing and brought a fire to the belly, lifting us out of apathy. We laughed, we cried, we held his music in our hearts and sang with all our might, forming a true collective conscious. Just brilliant.

Posted by Rachel Fagan on 08/07/2019

Billy Bragg, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth - 7th July 2019

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Mixing pop and politics

Great set list with a few different versions of songs. Banter between songs was typically politically charged. I found the experience quite emotional, given the current political climate and there was a great feeling of solidarity and a lot of love in the room for Billy x

Posted by surfacealone on 21/10/2018

Billy Bragg, O2 Manchester Ritz, Manchester - 20th October 2018

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billy bragg

billy Bragg as usual was brilliant but the 02 ritz in Manchester was terrible it was boiling in the concert and at £5.60 a pint I'll not be going back

Posted by mark on 21/10/2018

Billy Bragg, O2 Manchester Ritz, Manchester - 20th October 2018

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Still top of his game

Saturday night+ Rock City+Billy Bragg= a top night! After over thirty years at it Billy Bragg is still a force to be reckoned with. The political shenanigans of the last couple of years seem to have reignited the passions that burn in the Essex troubadours belly. Long may it continue !

Posted by Paul B on 19/11/2017

Billy Bragg, Rock City, Nottingham - 18th November 2017

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