The summer of 1998 I was in London studying for 6 weeks and to my elation, Billy Bragg played 2 live gigs while I was there. I was quite thrilled, as I had never seen him perform before. The second night I even got to meet him. It was definitely one of the major highlights of my summer. He is such a friendly and down-to-earth guy.
I am interested in trading live B.B. audio tapes, as well. Mail me if you can help. :) Here is a list of what I have to trade.
The first show was at the Guinness Fleadh, an all day Irish festival at Finsbury Park in London, 6th June, 1998.
Billy played the mainstage. They played only songs from Mermaid Avenue except for ...
Sexuality (we CAN be what we want to be...)
I liked the Woody Guthrie songs but I was really wishing for more Billy songs. It was so exciting just to finally get to see him though that it didn't really matter.
I read in Time Out magazine that he was playing a free gig a few days later. I sent away for my free tickets and they arrived with this note:
So my friend Andrew and I arrived at the Mean Fiddler. It was a much smaller and intimate setting. Much better way to see Billy if you ask me. Everyone there seemed to be hardcore fans. They knew every word to every song and sang along.
We paid our donational 5 quid to get in, and they handed us these flyers about Woody Guthrie and the new album.
This time, happily, along with all the Woody songs he also did many of the classic Billy songs like Richard and Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards. :) When he announced he was going to play California Stars some american guy started yelling something like "yeah san fran.. woo!" and Billy kept joking with him after that and making little comments. It was humourous.
I was thrilled also that all the people around me were singing along. The crowd was really great. He ended up doing like 3 encores. People were cheering so much that he even came back out again after they had turned the house lights on!
After the show I went and asked one of the guys at the backstage door if I could go say Hi to Billy. He obliged and I got to go introduce myself. He was very cordial and was quite happy to pose for a photo with me.
You can tell how truly giddy I was. I hope he plays somewhere by me in the States sometime! I can't wait to see another of his shows.
I am looking for more live audio tapes of Billy's shows! Here are the Billy boots I have. If you want to trade or can help me, drop me a line. :) Lisa
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A great place to find rare and out of print Billy Bragg CDs and vinyl!: