Billy Bragg rocked in Toronto

Billy Bragg put on a great show. The show openned with CR Avery, who does a mix of beat boxing, spoken word poetry, and singing. Avery’s song, ‘Folk Singer’ is a must hear as is his sing along ‘love song’ was an interesting mix of his talents.

Billy Bragg played an extended set mixing his classics, more folk oriented materials, and some covers. He played one of his unrecorded songs about, ‘aging clash fans’, it was a great tribute to the spirit of the clash and the people they enabled and inspired.

Throughout the night he was interacting with children in the audience. One young gentleman of around 10 years of age shouted a title and it took quite a while to figure out the song, SugarDaddy, but eventually toward the end of the evening, the request was changed to A New England, with the Kirsty Maccoll version, which was a great sing along song. He also took a request from a very young girl who was accompanied to the front by her sister, she drew a picture for Billy, it was a picture of a rainbow with a rock and and arrow, the rock and arrow meant rock on. Her name was Maya and Billy lead us in a rousing version of The Internationale in support of Canadian Autoworkers Union at her behest. He also sang, there is power in a union, the myth of trust, the space race is over, and several other great political songs. Audience participation was interesting and the venue was small enough that everyone felt involved.

He played Farmboy, I Almost Killed You, Sing them Back Home, O Freedom, Mr. Love and Justice from his new album. He ended with I Have Faith, which is his statement in the faith in humanity to make the world a better place.

All in all, Rochelle and I had a great time, the night was full of humor, politics and music. I hope to see him in concert again.