A progressive is
someone who wants
to see society
re-organised
so that everyone
has access to
the means by
which to reach
their full potential
Billy Bragg
38 Classic tracks compiled from the BBC archive spanning 1983 to 2019

Fully remastered many previously unreleased

Includes selected highlights from sessions for John Peel, David Jensen, Janice Long, Phill Jupitus, Bob Harris, Tom Robinson & more

“Work in progress. That’s how John Peel thought of his evening sessions, offering artists the opportunity to try out new songs in a studio environment. That’s how I looked at them too. The confirmation of a Peel session date was a signal to get my ideas together, to define material that had hitherto been little more than words scribbled on a page or a tune thrashed out during a sound check.

That’s why some of the tracks here have a different phrasing and arrangement to that which appeared on record. The songs were so new, you can hear I’m still feeling my way into them. Several were conceived and written the night before the session. In one case, I actually composed a song from scratch while the show was on air. That rawness was always a key component of my BBC sessions, the thrill of putting something out there for the very first time.

And here I’ve collected all the best moments across 36 years of my ongoing work in progress.”

Billy Bragg 2019

38 Classic tracks compiled from the BBC archive spanning 1983 to 2019

Fully remastered many previously unreleased

Includes selected highlights from sessions for John Peel, David Jensen, Janice Long, Phill Jupitus, Bob Harris, Tom Robinson & more

“Work in progress. That’s how John Peel thought of his evening sessions, offering artists the opportunity to try out new songs in a studio environment. That’s how I looked at them too. The confirmation of a Peel session date was a signal to get my ideas together, to define material that had hitherto been little more than words scribbled on a page or a tune thrashed out during a sound check.

That’s why some of the tracks here have a different phrasing and arrangement to that which appeared on record. The songs were so new, you can hear I’m still feeling my way into them. Several were conceived and written the night before the session. In one case, I actually composed a song from scratch while the show was on air. That rawness was always a key component of my BBC sessions, the thrill of putting something out there for the very first time.

And here I’ve collected all the best moments across 36 years of my ongoing work in progress.”

Billy Bragg 2019

Limited Edition Triple White Vinyl | Black Vinyl | Double CD

Limited Edition Triple White Vinyl | Black Vinyl | Double CD

In these challenging times, we all need something to hang on to. Like everyone else, my plans for 2020 have been disrupted by the pandemic, but today I’m announcing an extensive UK & Irish tour for this time next year to give me something tangible to work towards. My hope is that, by then, we’ll be able to get together again and enjoy the uplift that live music brings, to audience and performer alike.
Hope to see you next Autumn

 “After more than three decades of travelling around the world in a van, or spending all day flying vast distances to play a gig, I’m looking forward to having some time to explore cities that I usually only get to see between the soundcheck and the show. And this three night stand format is a way of keeping things interesting, both for me and the audience. I tried it out in Auckland recently and had a lot of fun revisiting my back pages.” Billy Bragg 2019

In each town Bragg will perform three unique shows on consecutive nights.The first night’s performance will feature Bragg’s current set, which ranges across his 35 year career. The second will see Bragg perform songs from his first three albums: his punk rock debut Life’s a Riot with Spy Vs Spy (1983), its similarly raw follow-up Brewing Up with Billy Bragg (1984) and Talking with the Taxman about Poetry (1986). The third performance will see Bragg perform songs from his second three albums: the positively jangled Workers Playtime (1988), the pop classic Don’t Try This at Home (1991) and the back-to-basics William Bloke (1996).

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Republicans called the valid votes of Black, brown and Indigenous voters across this country “fraud” because they couldn’t believe that, in the middle of a pandemic, we overcame all of their attempts to disenfranchise us.

BILLY BRAGG is heading to The Barrowlands on Saturday 23rd October 2021.

Tickets available here http://t-s.co/bil64

@billybragg @TheBarrowlands
@regularmusicuk https://t.co/n7qx93kIRa

2

Remember that dream I had which involved @springsteen @billybragg and @RalphMcLeanShow at the @TheAMAUK? Of course you don't. Well anyway, here's the result.

https://fb.watch/33WSOm4tdT/

Mon Jan 11th, 2021

Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg's message to British Gas workers ... See MoreSee Less

Sun Jan 10th, 2021

Billy Bragg

In many ways, the storming of the Capitol on Wednesday was a perfect metaphor for the presidency of Donald Trump: a bunch of outsiders pushed their way in on a wave of anger, walked around beating their chests and roaring their grievances, smashed things up and left claiming some kind of victory, to spend the rest of the day exulting themselves on social media.

What was their aim? They were there to show their strength. That’s what Trump had goaded them to do. “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong” he told his supporters at a rally outside the White House prior to instructing them to march on the Capitol to prevent Joe Biden’s victory being certified.

The strength they displayed was not the strength of democracy, in which the will of the people is respected by all, winners and losers alike. Nor was it the strength of protest that led millions all over the world to come together in 2017 in solidarity with women in opposition to the inauguration of President Trump. The strength seen on display as the Capitol was stormed was the strength of the individual whose idea of freedom means that he accepts no responsibility for what happens to anyone else.

Some have seen the ease with which the rioters were able to gain entry to the heart of American democracy as an expression of white privilege, arguing that had the protesters been Black or Muslim, they would have likely faced a more deadly response. While that is undoubtedly true, there may have been something else going on. We know from Kent State in 1970, that the forces of law and order are willing to shoot dead white kids too. If those storming the Capitol has been white antifa, you can be sure they would have met much greater resistance.

While there was undoubtedly a dimension of white privilege on display in the manner in which the MAGA were treated with kid gloves, that is only because the status quo in the US is almost wholly Caucasian. This double standard, in which those perceived by law and order to be defenders of the status quo are given a free pass, is replicated around the world. Here in the UK, the Labour Party is required to rid itself of anti-semitism, yet reports of Tory Islamophobia are ignored, some right wing commentators going so far as to deny that there is any such thing as Islamophobia.

And I don’t hold much stock in the argument that the MAGA were forced to storm the Capitol because they had no route to meaningful change. Just the day before, history was made in Georgia when voters elected two new Democratic senators, one a Black pastor, the other a Jewish film maker. That alone was cause for astonishment in a state hitherto known as a deep south Republican stronghold.

What is more significant is that the addition of these two new senators tipped the power in the Senate in favour of the Democrats. Anti-Trump voters in Georgia kept faith in democracy, went to the polls in significant numbers and, as a result, have created meaningful change in their country without resorting to violent insurrection.

So what did the MAGA achieve in their day in DC? So far the most tangible outcome has been the removal of Trump from various social media platforms, for fear of him inciting more violence. Like many of us, I have an ambiguous relationship with social media. It has facilitated Trumpism, but it has also been an indispensable means of organising for the likes of BLM, #MeToo and Extinction Rebellion.

I’ve long argued that the balance between freedom of expression and accountability is off-kilter on social media, that far too much emphasis is given to free speech, to the extent that users are able to bully and lie without any consequence. That seems to have changed over the past few days, leading some to comment that the likes of Twitter and Facebook are changing their tune for fear of legislation from the incoming administration.

I think it is more likely that they feel able to act now because they no longer fear the retribution that could be visited upon them by an angry Trump. One of the classic forms of control used by in domestic relationships is the unpredictable temper tantrum: “Don’t you dare make me angry, because I don’t know what I might do”. No longer intimidated by Trump, they may now feel they have a fairer crack at reform from a Biden administration.

And reform must surely come. The likes of Facebook and Twitter clearly have too much control over the global conversation and should be regulated to ensure that, while offensive opinion can be aired freely, those posting abusive comments and threats face consequences. The balance between free speech and accountability is hard to strike and harder to maintain, but the line should be drawn and maintained by regulators guided by democratically elected legislators, not corporate board rooms with one eye on the bottom line.

Where do we go from here? I think Trump should be impeached. It may not be possible to try him in the ten days before he leaves office, but it is crucial that he is seen to face consequences for his actions in trying to overturn the result of a free and fair election. All his life he has avoided responsibility, in his personal, professional and political career. If he walks away unharmed from the wreckage of his presidency, he will take that as a victory and authoritarians everywhere will be emboldened.
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