Sunday, September 7, 2008

Billy Bragg - Live x2

For those who have followed the blog from early on, you may remember my posting of a Greg Graffin acoustic set where he plays songs from his solo folk album "Cold as the Clay" as well as some Bad Religion standards & even a treat from his 'American Lesion' album from the 90's.

That posting wasn't a fluke, but an underlying symbol of my musical tastes. Even though this blog is almost always Hardcore/Punk slanted, Folk music was some of the earliest stuff I was exposed to as a kid from my mom & step-dad. So, if you know anything about Billy Bragg it should come as no shock to you that I am posting some live stuff of his here.

For those who don't know, Billy Bragg, the "urbane folk" musician of the early 80's UK punk scene (starting out in a punk band named Riff Raff) armed with just his voice and an electric guitar. Bragg has been someone who has come, stayed, and remained vital and important and managed to not become a sad, drained parody of his former self. Rather, he has continued to play, write, record, and much like a previous man armed with a guitar (dylan) he has expanded his musical output but still retained a connection to those early years of just a voice and a guitar.

Billy Bragg shows are often typified by a collection of old classic tunes from his early records mixed in with later stuff, cover songs, and collaborations (especially from his works with Wilco on the Woody Gutherie tribute 'Mermaid Avenue" Vol. 1 & 2). Also to be expected at any Bragg concert is banter with the crowd, and politics interlaced with humor.

Presented for download this time are two seperate shows. One is a set I had long heard of from some old Aussie friends, from when Bragg & the Blokes played the island in 1999. A nice, little show with some of the Mermaid Avenue songs dominating the set list. The second show is from a show in New Zealand. This was a bonus disc of some sort that was given to me by a friend who worked in a local record store. A really good mix of old Bragg classics with some later songs and a great cover of the Buzzcocks "ever fallen in love". All of it, just Bragg and his electric guitar.

I have a few other shows worthy of posting, in the future (or comment/message me) surely they'll find their way here.

Live in Melbourne, Australia 1999 (download)

Live in New Zealand 1987 (download)

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