Billy Bragg ‘Best Of BB At The BBC 1983-2019’ vinyl and CD sets released in September

Always a fixture on the live circuit throughout the 80s and 90s, Billy Bragg was also no stranger to  radio sessions.  Between 1983 and 2000, he was the subject of eleven Peel Sessions. Only a few artists recorded a higher number of sessions for the legendary DJ’s show.  Highlights of some of those earlier sets were compiled on a now hard to find 1991 ‘Peel Sessions’ release on Strange Fruit Records.

A new compilation ‘Best of BB at The BBC 1983-2019’ brings together 38 radio session tracks, many of which are being released on CD and vinyl for the first time.

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Karine Polwart to release ‘Scottish Songbook’ album in August

6 time BBC award-winning singer songwriter Karine Polwart releases her eighth album this coming August.   ‘Scottish Songbook’ does what it says on the tin, with Karine re-interpreting various pieces of Scottish pop spanning the last six decades.  Fans will experience her putting her own stamp on classics by Deacon Blue and The Waterboys, as well as revisiting Strawberry Switchblades huge 1985 hit ‘Since Yesterday’.

You can find out more in the press release below, which contains a link to the new single, a cover of Ivor Cutler’s ‘Women of The World’.

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BILLY BRAGG – Bridges Not Walls EP

Billy Bragg has never been shy of voicing a political opinion. However, the collection of songs that makes up the 2017 EP ‘Bridges Not Walls’ might just find the singer-songwriter at his most consistently outspoken since 1988’s ‘Worker’s Playtime’. His overtly political stance isn’t without good reason, of course; following his album and tour with US folk musician Joe Henry, the world took a huge turn for the worse. In June 2016, the UK held a referendum on our position within the European Union. With the result favouring those who wanted to leave, the outcome seemed to be the ultimate gesture in cutting off the country’s nose to save face. A few months later, America voted in a new President – a man with absolutely no prior political experience – and the country slowly and painfully began to disintegrate. Both of these subjects colour these five songs to a great extent, and with Billy – often the voice of a questioning contempt – it’s a very interesting listen.

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Billy Bragg – Life’s a Riot With Spy vs. Spy, Live in Sydney, 13th September 2013

In 2013, Billy Bragg’s debut release ‘Life’s a Riot With Spy vs. Spy’ celebrated its thirtieth anniversary.  Due to the lo-fi nature of the recording – one man, an electric guitar, no overdubs – it could have been recorded at any point during that time.  With the younger Bragg possessing an angry voice, a barrage of social commentary and a knack for a lyric, there was always a feeling that he represented every one of us with a left leaning political voice, just one of many reasons why its seven tracks continue to endure.

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“Dear Mr. Le Bon…” – crowdfunding campaign

A few years ago, a couple of pensioners from Bournemouth – home of the mighty prog band Big Big Train – embarked on an unusual hobby.  They began to write to musicians, questioning their song lyrics.  It all began in 2008, when Wilf Turnbull and Derek Philpott decided to write to Simon Le Bon, stating that other animals besides wolves experienced hunger and it was perhaps wrong for Duran Duran to single out our lupine chums.

The whole thing snowballed.  Soon, their project became a fully functioning website, with replies from Gary Numan, Toyah Willcox, Steve Dawson (ex-Saxon), Billy Bragg and many, many others.

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