Sun 17.06.18

Billy Bragg plays songs from 'Life's a Riot with Spy vs Spy' (’83), 'Brewing up with Billy Bragg' (’84), 'Talking with the Taxman about Poetry' (’86) & ‘Workers Playtime' (’88)

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This working class hero plays his world-class classics at AB’s express request

The Sound Of Protest

In May ‘18 it is exactly a half century ago that turbulent student revolts took place in Paris and spread throughout Europe. AB responds and commits to protest music. The current social and political climate is unfortunately an ‘ideal’ source of inspiration.

AB delves into the The Sound Of Protest and lets the voices of Turkish social protest songs, London’s grime, the call for (musical) borderlessness, the Black Lives Matter movement and working Punk Icons fully resound.


Folk troubadour and working class hero Billy Bragg is living proof that romance and politics can go hand in hand. You see, Bragg wrote the finest romantic songs ever. Think: ‘Milkman Of Human Kindness’, ‘The Man In The Iron Mask’ or ‘Must I Paint You A Picture’ (with that great sentence ‘Most important decisions in life are made between two people in bed’). But it was in ’78, during a concert that was a part of the ‘Rock Against Racism’ campagne of his heroes The Clash, that Bragg realized that politics and pop could perfectly well go hand in hand.

Bragg has been involved in grassroots organisations and political movements for pretty much his entire career, which is of course reflected in his songs. Famous social anthems got the Bragg treatment, eg the ‘The Internationale’ or ‘The Red Flag’ and songs like ‘Rumours Of War’ (as a result of the Gulf war), ‘There Is Power in a Union’ or the anti-war song ‘Island of No Return’ were rich with well-considered statements.
Bragg on his political activism: “I don't mind being labelled a political songwriter. The thing that troubles me is being dismissed as a political songwriter.” And also: “People tell me that they are inspired by my songs, and for that I’m thankful, but I take my inspiration from the only people in this equation who can actually make a difference - the audience. After 25 years of activism, my faith in your ability to change the world is undimmed.”
At the request of AB, Billy Bragg draws from his classic albums 'Life's a Riot with Spy vs Spy' (’83), 'Brewing up with Billy Bragg' (’84), 'Talking with the Taxman about Poetry' (’86) & ‘Workers Playtime' (’88), completed by more recent work. We are honoured. Never before has protest sounded so beautiful, pure and honest.

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18 december 1988, een druilerige zondagavond met een last minute bevlieging: BB in de AB, ondersteund door een Amerikaans losgeslagen collectief - The Beatnigs. Het is nog altijd - by far- het beste concert dat ik ooit heb beleefd. En nu 30 jaar later, wearing an older man's clothes, heeft groter lief en leed de magie van toen gekaderd als nostalgische weemoed, vooral bij het horen van versparels als 'The polaroids that hold us together, will surely fade away. Like the love that we spoke of forever, on St.Swithin's Day.' Fijne avond gehad.
Hilarious and moving. Glad he didn't just stick to the older stuff, although it meant a lot to me growing up. Can't describe the emotions of hearing Levi Stubbs' Tears live.
Zeeeer fijn optreden, enorm van genoten! Fijne muziek, fijne mens met humor!
Geweldig optreden, vanaf Sexuality tot A New England: genieten!
Great show, great performer. Enjoyed every single song!
Great to see Billy for the first time. Very humble, entertaining and politically very astute without lecturing the audience. I was however slightly disappointed as the gig was advertised as though he would be playing his very early songs. This however wasn't the case, only a few were on the set-list.
Nice revival from last time... 1989... AB.... but with the Red Stars that time.... missed them, but hey: Billys songs are great!
Billy fidèle à lui même ! Un artiste d'intérêt public par les temps qui courent ! Pas le meilleur guitariste, pas le meilleur chanteur mais un barde sensible et engagé qui a produit des perles depuis plus de 30 ans. Son dernier EP prouve que son inspiration ne faiblit pas. Merci à l'AB et à Billy pour cette superbe soirée !
Bien la première demi-heure puis monocorde. Tout était sur le même ton. Le retour de la lap steel guitare était prometteuse. Billy parlait trop entre les chansons. Suis parti après 60 minutes. J'allais m'endormir
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Billy Bragg plays songs from 'Life's a Riot with Spy vs Spy' (’83), 'Brewing up with Billy Bragg' (’84), 'Talking with the Taxman about Poetry' (’86) & ‘Workers Playtime' (’88) news

The Sound of Protest – Punk icons & working class heroes

Discover the most rebellious theme of The Year of The Contestation.


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