I’m more impressionable when my cement is wet
Right then, I hope you all had a nice Christmastime. I did, thank you for asking. Let us return to the discussion of prior events.
Off to see Billy Bragg at The Academy on Tuesday the 14th, so I was. I can imagine ‘what to do that night’ having been a difficult decision for some, with The Pogues playing at The NIA and The Damned at The Wulfrun as well as this. I can imagine the three of those having significantly overlapping followings.
I missed openeer (I like that, I’ll use that one again) ‘Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly’ but I’m not really overly fussed about the fact. Braggy was… well, I think we all know what we can expect from Braggy. This was the third time I’d been to seen him, but even without that I think we all know what we can expect from Braggy. That’s not meant to sound in the slightest bit negative, since we also know that what we can expect from him is amazing. It’s interesting to note that this was the first time I’ve actually seen him fully solo (he was with The Blokes the first time, and accompanied for most of the set by Ian McLagan the second), just him and his guitar in the manner for which most of his more famous songs are known.
You got all your favourites, anyway, a few less famous ones, a few new ones (‘Farm Boy’ sounded especially good), some inspiring talk of solidarity (the Peugeot Workers had a stall in the gig), and a lot of hilarious wit and comedy. My last paragraph probably wasn’t fully accurate in the sense that I imagine there are probably folk out there who imagine he’ll be very po-faced and serious, whereas nothing could be further from the truth. I couldn’t pick a line of the night, but silencing someone shouting out the names of songs he wanted to hear with “It’s easy for you mate, you only have to remember the title” had me creased up.
A couple of the ‘Johnny Clash’ songs got an airing, he explained the double-meanings in Woody Guthrie’s “Ingrid Bergman” at embarrassing length (“Dad, stop it…”). “Great Leap Forwards” had updated lyrics, the fact that ‘Seven Nation Army’ is the modern version of ‘Smoke On The Water’ was demonstrated… all sorts of nifty and enjoyable things came about. He’s always fantastic, but I think this was possibly the best gig of his that I’ve seen yet.
There’s another account of this here. He definitely didn’t kick off with ‘Sexuality,’ though, that song came somewhere in the middle of the set.
~ Russ L, waiting for the great leap forwards.