Billy Bragg started this blog.
Well, not him personally but my first upload, nigh-on four years ago, was Bragg's criminally out-of-print BBC Sessions and I seem to return to Bragg's rough-hewn folk-punk n' whatnot sound every year - like some sorta concussed migratory bird. After all, once I began talking about British agit-punk of the eighties like The Redskins (more HERE) and The Neurotics (more HERE) I knew more Bragg was coming.
I'm not gonna tell you I knew who Bragg was in 1983 (though I did try to translate an article from a French magazine about him in 1985). It wasn't all the way until 1988 when the now out-of-pint compilation Back-to-Basics so devastated me. Hard-strumming, sing-along folk was the soundtrack of my childhood whereas clashing, shout-along punk rock got me though my adolescence. Now one man had had found the essence of each and spliced the two divergent strains of Anglo-American music together. Bragg's solo electric style is singular one and, while influential on a whole new generation of folk-punks, is rarely attempted by others.
This real early bootleg is raw-as-hell and contains the rare song "Voice in the Wilderness". Supposedly there is a longer version available but this seven track version is all I can offer (unless some milkman of human kindness out there has an upgrade for us!)
MRML readers: What did you make of this early Bragg stuff when you first heard it? Let us know in the COMMENTS (which is where you'll find the Live at the Key Theatre link).
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