While former Clash-man Joe Strummer seemed to visibly struggle with his agitator personae as he aged, Billy Bragg never has. Perhaps it's has something to do with the fact that when (most of us) first heard Joe, he was yelling, "I wanna riot of my own" whereas the first we heard of Billy he was confessing, "I don't want to change the word...I'm just looking for another girl". Maybe being a lover and a fighter made Bragg's mixing of pop and politics more tenable in the long run. (Cue debate over whether it's better to burn out or fade away...)
This is an audience recording, which not just because it has that you-were-there sound but also because this show is about the audience, who all sing along and mourn together. In this small club setting, with a set laced with his more rabble-rousing originals alongside a brace of Clash covers, Billy becomes less of a performer and more the leader of a rock n' roll wake.
P.S. Interesting Guardian video HERE about politics at Glastonbury this week, need less to say it features a chat with Mr. Bragg