Modern day troubadour Billy Bragg comes to Australia this October with a special new two part show: the first half celebrating the legacy of Woody Guthrie, the original alternative musician, and the second exploring Billy’s own extensive repertoire, highlighting the songs that have made him famous over his almost three decade, 14-album career.
Billy Bragg, ‘the Bard from Barking’, famously started out as a tank driver in the British Army. Things didn’t work out – “When you’ve driven one tank, you’ve driven them all”– and in early 1982 he found himself back on the streets of Barking, writing songs. Drawing inspiration from the DIY ethos of punk rock, he decided to take on the world single-handedly, armed with only an electric guitar. His first album, ‘Life’s a Riot with Spy vs Spy’ came out in 1983.
Billy was politicised by Rock Against Racism in the late 1970s. He marshalled his songs in opposition to Margaret Thatcher, supporting the miners when they went on strike in 1984 and subsequently founding Red Wedge, a collective of left wing musicians who campaigned for the defeat of Thatcher at the 1987 election. Throughout his career, Billy Bragg has remained contemporary, providing his insightful, clear-eyed yet hopeful commentary on our times through social, political and technological change.
Although often defined by his political songs, Billy is also a writer of great love songs. He said “I write about the things make me angry: sometimes it’s the government, sometimes it’s the girl.”His songs describe the emotional peaks and troughs of love, navigating the difficult terrain of modern relationships.
Don’t miss Billy Bragg: “storyteller, historian, activist, father, enthusiast, pilgrim, entertainer, minstrel, humorist, rambler, sermoniser and scholar,” (The Guardian) in Australia this October and November.
*Please note: For the Melbourne Festival, Billy will perform in a slightly different format with two separate shows – the first dedicated to Woody Guthrie, and the second an evening exploring of his own musical oeuvre.
Hobart – Sunday 21st October – Federation Hall
Canberra – Tuesday 23rd October – Canberra Theatre
Brisbane – Thursday 25th October – QPAC
Sydney – Saturday 27th October – Enmore Theatre
Adelaide – Wednesday 31st October – Town Hall
Perth – Friday 2 November – Astor Theatre
Plus Melbourne Festival shows:
Melbourne – Friday 19th October – Hamer Hall – Billy Bragg Celebrates The Legacy Of Woody Guthrie
Melbourne – Saturday 20th October – Melbourne Recital Centre – An Evening With Billy Bragg