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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But why are there always these naval alarms and excursions (Gunboats to Jersey) just before a by-election.

It’s like a mini meme version of the Falklands War and Thatcher election in 83 each time https://twitter.com/iainoverton/status/1407809117713059848

Watch: Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, just now on Critical Race Theory, ‘Wokeness’ & Jan. 6. “I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding...the country which we are here to defend?”

I've told my kids that if they try to force them to sing One Britain One Nation they should take the knee.

Sun May 23rd, 2021

Billy Bragg
Over the years, I’ve been called a sell-out for numerous reasons: signing a record contract; owning more than one pair of shoes; supporting the Labour Party; shaking hands with the Queen; advocating tactical voting – the list goes on. I’m not complaining – it’s a situation faced by everyone who tries to uphold progressive ideas. But I never expected to find that getting vaccinated against Covid-19 would be added to that list.My one sentence post on the subject yesterday was met with a wave of anger and disappointment from those who felt my support for vaccination was a betrayal of my principles. I tried to reason with some of the early posters, but soon the vitriol was raging out of control, like a dumpster fire. There were some comments accusing me of ‘genocide’, plenty of dystopian imagery featuring vaccinated zombies and a quite a few of the “I’ve never heard of Billy Bragg but….” kind. Raking over the ashes this morning, I’d say they could be broadly categorised into two distinct camps.The first could be described as libertarians, those who see the vaccine argument as a conflict between individual liberty and the common good. Given that socialism is based on the notion of the common good, it’s baffling that many who voice this libertarian line believe themselves to be taking a left wing position. After all, this is the basis upon which some Americans oppose the idea of universal health care for all in the US and also found expression in Margaret Thatcher’s famous maxim that there is no such thing as society. So vague are its tenets, it’s arguable whether or not libertarianism is an ideology, but in the past decade or so, it has become a touchstone for keyboard warriors seeking a shield from accountability. That tendency was prominent among anti-vaxxers responding to my post, many of who made an argument that can be summed up as follows: “I have made my choice as a sovereign individual and I don’t see why I should face any repercussions as a result. In fact, to hold me responsible for my actions in an infringement of my liberty.”It’s an argument echoed by the Brexiteers who refuse to accept that, due to the puritanical Brexit that Boris Johnson chose to pursue, there now has to be a border in the Irish Sea. Likewise Trump supporters in the US Senate, who feel that there should be no proper investigation into the Jan 6th insurrection.The libertarian strain can be seen around the world, in everything from Bolsanaro in Brazil refusing to act on climate change to the Tories threatening anyone who suggests that the British Empire may have been a negative force. The rise of authoritarian leaders around world determined to avoid any kind of accountability shows the threat that libertarianism presents to a democratic society. It also underlines the fact that the rejection of the common good does not hold water as a left wing position.The second distinct group among those angry at my post can be described as the vaccine hesitant. As an apprehensive flyer, I have some sympathy for them. I know that I am more at risk traveling in a car than in a plane, but I’m never at ease going up and always relieved to come back down. But although I respect their right to be hesitant, as with the libertarians, the onus is upon them to respect me if I am hesitant to mix with them.I also worry that those with genuine concerns are in danger of being manipulated by the forces of reaction. Fear-mongering about vaccination has long been used by the right as a tool for divisive and discriminatory propaganda, as seen in the poster below, produced in the mid-50s by the Keep America Committee, a right wing anti-communist group from California.They identify the three great threats to the US as being fluoridated water, mental hygiene and the polio vaccine. Polio was a huge threat to children everywhere in the years after WWII. Ian Dury caught the disease as a seven year old while innocently playing in a swimming pool in Southend during the 1949 epidemic. A 1952 survey found that Americans feared only nuclear annihilation more than polio. In 1954, mass inoculation of children began in America. This kind of propaganda soon followed, seeking to scare people into opposing not just the vaccination of their children but also the possibility of “nation-wide socialised medicine” – libertarian pushback against the notion of the common good. History tells us that mass vaccination eliminated polio in the US and elsewhere in the world. The hesitancy of parents to have their children vaccinated was unfounded. Furthermore, fluoridated water turned out to be a threat to only to tooth decay. What the Keep America Committee meant by ‘mental hygiene’ is harder to discern. Their description of it sounds as if it is one of those concepts like ‘cultural marxism’ or ‘political correctness’ that can be used to deflect accusations of bigotry and discrimination. That impression is underscored by the example given, the implication of which is that we must watch out against people who take us to task for being anti-semitic.There were worrying echoes of the messaging in this poster among the comments left by anti-vaxxers in my thread – dark mumblings about George Soros and one world governments, claims that vaccination is the first step on the road to communism (in one case, immediately beneath another claiming it is the first step towards fascism. Please, make your minds up!) My worry is that the genuine concerns of the vaccine hesitant, when mixed with the dystopian visions of conspiracy hacks and cybercondriacs, will act as a recruiting tool for the libertarian right. The Keep America poster should act as both a comfort to the vaccine hesitant – none of their doom-laden predictions came to pass – but also a warning to them to be aware of who is feeding their fears.In the end, we all want the same thing: an end to the lockdowns and a return to some semblance of a normal life. By following the NHS guidelines in continuing to wear a mask in public places, keep my distance and wash my hands even though I’m vaccinated, I'm doing what I can to help hasten that day. By contrast, libertarians seem determined to prolong the misery by ignoring their responsibility to their fellow citizens. ... See MoreSee Less
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Sat May 22nd, 2021

Billy Bragg
Looking forward to getting out on the road again now I’ve had my second jab. ... See MoreSee Less
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