Billy Bragg announces The Roaring Forty Tour

By Dom Smith
By March 21, 2023 Leeds, News

As part of his celebrations to mark 40 years in music, Billy Bragg has announced a tour of the UK and Ireland in the autumn. The full list of dates is below:

Tue 14    BRIGHTON       Dome
Wed 15   PORTSMOUTH   Guildhall
Thu 16    CAMBRIDGE     Corn Exchange
Mon 20   CORK              Cyprus Avenue
Tue 21    DUBLIN            The National Concert Hall
Wed 22  BELFAST          Mandela Hall
Fri 24    CARDIFF          Tramshed
Sat 25   BIRMINGHAM    Town Hall
Sun 26   LEEDS              O2 Academy
Tue 28   EDINBURGH      Usher Hall
Thu 30   MANCHESTER    O2 Apollo
Fri 01   GATESHEAD      Sage
Sat 02  NOTTINGHAM    Rock City
Tue 05  BRISTOL           Beacon
Wed 06 LONDON           The Roundhouse

Says BillyDoesn’t seem like just that long ago that I was playing Thursday nights at the Tunnel in Greenwich, opening for whoever was headlining that night. I learned my chops there in late 82/early83 and I’m still putting those lessons to good use 40 years later. Hope to see some of you on the Roaring Forty tour this autumn.

Punk rocker, soldier, Essex boy, folk singer, Skiffle aficionado, protest singers’ protest singer, patriot, optimist, lefty polemicist, author, soul miner, musicologist, champion of the underclasses, Cockney vocalist and all round decent bloke Billy Bragg will release a career spanning 14-disc deluxe box set (3 LP and single LP versions also available) entitled ‘The Roaring Forty | 1983-2023’ on 27th October ’23 on Cooking Vinyl. ‘The Roaring Forty | 1983-2023’ celebrates the remarkable and enduring musical legacy of a much-loved songwriter, principled activist and alternative national treasure.

Billy Bragg has been a fearless recording artist, tireless live performer and peerless political campaigner for 40 years. He has released 11 solo studio albums: Life’s A Riot With Spy Vs Spy (1983); Brewing Up With Billy Bragg (1984); Talking With The Taxman About Poetry (1986); Workers Playtime (1988); The Internationale (1990); Don’t Try This At Home (1991); William Bloke (1996); England, Half English (2002); Mr Love & Justice (2008); Tooth & Nail (2013); The Million Things That Never Happened (2021); three albums with Wilco – (Grammy nominatedMermaid Avenue (1998); Mermaid Avenue Vol II (2000); Mermaid Avenue Vol III (2012); and one album with Joe Henry – Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad (2016). He released a mini album Bridges Not Walls in 2017. His performances at the BBC were anthologised in The Best Of Billy Bragg At The BBC 1983-2019 (2019).

Billy Bragg added best-selling author/musicologist to his CV with the success of his acclaimed 2017 book Roots, Radicals & Rockers – How Skiffle Changed The World. He has written two books of political analysis –  The Progressive Patriot: A Search For Belonging (2006) and The Three Dimensions of Freedom (2019), which has been translated into German and Spanish.

To be expected from a career that has straddled many genres, Billy Bragg has worked with a wealth of celebrated musicians from different musical backgrounds including Eliza Carthy, Norman Cook, Dick Gaughan, Joe Henry, Kirsty MacColl, Ian McLagan, Johnny Marr, R.E.M., Natalie Merchant, Romeo Stodart, Danny Thompson, Robert Wyatt, Pete Seeger, The Philharmonic Orchestra and US alt-Rock band Wilco, with whom he created two critically acclaimed collections setting previously unheard lyrics by legendary American Folk singer Woody Guthrie to music.