Busy, passionate, outspoken, left-wing troubadour Billy Bragg has more often than not been as well-known for his political activism as his music. Which is a bit of a shame since his willingness to vociferously back a political or social cause may have turned some potential fans off from his wonderfully poetic and romantic music.
An obvious inspiration to so many artists, there are echoes of Bragg in the musings of the Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner, in the wry disenchantment of the Housemartins and in the politically informed biting satire of early Manic Street Preachers.
Whether popping-up on the news or marching in heartfelt defence of one cause or another, Billy Bragg has never stopped writing razor-tongued vignettes on the melancholy of modern life. Love, sex, football and Top of the Pops line-up alongside references to the plight of the working classes and a Russian foreign affairs spokesman, jostling for the killer rhyme at the end of each half of another couplet from the Bard of Barking.
After thirty years and a dozen or so albums, Billy Bragg is still informing, inspiring and entertaining the masses with his incomparable back catalogue of love and protest. He has made friends and enemies in equal measure but there has never been any shortfall in artists lining-up to collaborate and, amid a series of UK and Ireland dates this autumn, Billy Bragg is joining forces with the politically-motivated The King Blues/ Sound of Rum to co-headline a series of 'Left Field in Motion' gigs
The Billy Bragg Ireland tour begins in Kilkenny on 19th October 2011, moving on to Waterford, Drogheda, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Belfast, before the final Ireland date at The Button Factory in Dublin on 28th October.
The Left Field in Motion dates kick-off in Edinburgh on 13th November, followed by Sheffield, Middlesbrough, Leeds, Cambridge, Oxford, London (HMV Forum), Leicester before the final date in Bristol on 28th November.
Bragg is also playing a couple of solo headline dates, in Pocklington, Yorkshire, on 30th October and then at the University of Bristol on 28th November.
We have tickets available now for most of the Ireland dates, priced around 25 to 30. We will have tickets for the Left Field in Motion tour when they go on sale from 9AM on Tuesday 13th September (Oxford and Leicester on sale Wednesday), priced generally £12 (£15 for London).