In a time where it seems that no popular mandate is given to a government; when taxpayer’s money is used to save banks – and then pay their bonuses; when an Australian press magnate influences the dogma of a nation; it’s important to have someone to look up to.
For over 30 years, that someone has been Billy Bragg. A beacon of social grace, with a rapier wit and tender heart, his songs eloquently describe the agony and ecstasy of day-to-day life. All with a cheeky smile and humble apology.
These days, aside from collaborating with Wilco, Kate Nash, Johnny Marr and Florence + The Machine, Billy has busied himself ridding the streets of Essex of the BNP, and promoting his Jail Guitar Doors initiative – teaching inmates of over 30 prisons how to play guitar as part of their rehabilitation, alongside Wayne Kramer of the MC5 and Tom Morello.
Oh, and he curated the entire Left Field stage at this year’s Glastonbury.
Still riding high off the success of 2008′s “Mr. Love and Justice” Billy will be appearing for a night of songs spanning his extensive back catalogue. Here’s to hoping he plays “Levi Stubbs’ Tears”. I may just lose my shit if he does.
Billy plays the O2 Academy Bournemouth on Sunday December 12th.