Sunday, November 05, 2006

Review: Billy Bragg Volume 1

Being an obsessive completist I love box sets- and when I found out that Billy Bragg was putting out a boxed set I nearly fell off my perch with excitement. He's re-released his first four albums, and thrown in a bunch of unreleased/ bootleg material and DVD footage. The package is absolutely brilliant- so if you don't have any Billy Bragg stuff- get out and buy this.

The original albums have been spiced up a bit, but for all the Bragg buffs out there the thing you want is the extra material. You'll hear Billy as he originally played with drum machine backing- absolutely hilarious. The DVD footage of some of his early shows is great. He was punk as fuck- they stand in stark contrast to his current Dad Joke pull my finger stage shows. The energy and intensity of his early performances is really infectious. That's the Bragg I love- the current, tea sipping variety is really a bit tepid by comparison (but still very much endearing).

I was watching television last night, and listening to one of the CDs when I realised that the writing on the front cover of the box had smudged a little. On closer inspection I realised that Billy had personally signed my copy with black texta. I've had the thing for a month and I only just realised the thing was personally signed. What a legend! The website said they were all out of signed copies- so It hadn't even occurred to me that he would have signed my copy personally.

The man is a deadset legend- and really cares about all the people who get out and support him. I can't wait to get volume 2, and read his new book. and please can we have a new solo album soon without an aging backing band- thankyou.


Blogger cfsmtb said...

A true legend!

I recall back to my student union days when we organised to have him play at the Uni Bar. Everytime I put up a billposter advertising the gig, it disappeared usually within half an hour. So I set a little trap, and placed one on the opposite wall outside my office. Within 10 minutes, a University lecturer had shamelessly (and very neatly) removed it. I watched, and then opened the door & quietly asked what he was up to. ie: Didn't he like Billy Bragg? Political differences? Some Uni policy on bill posters?

Nah, he was nicking one for himself and fess'ed up to nicking two others for friends. So I duly asked who else was on his shopping list and arranged for more posters. Good ploy, the remaining posters then stayed up until the gig. Which, may I add, was a stirring performance. Mind you this was during the days of HEC fee's being introduced & Johnny Dawkins.

4:54 PM  
Blogger timboy said...

Great story- I would have loved to have seen that gig- unfortunately a bit before my time :D.

How do I make the spam disappear?

7:11 PM  
Blogger cfsmtb said...

1. Login to your dashboard.

2. Goto Settings tab, then select comments.

3. Select what setting suits you from the options.

Hope this helps!

8:27 PM  

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