Sunday, December 03, 2006

Billy Bragg at the Holmfirth Picturedrome

The Bard of Barking brought his brand of socio-political folk to Holmfirth last night. As the picture below signifies, the whole tour is an anti-fascist thing - hope not hate - and second up was a rendition of the old Woody Guthrie number, All You Fascists.

The tour will encompass those areas afflicted with a large far-right vote and a number of BNP councillors. Kirklees has a few - Dewsbury, Heckmondwike and Cleckheaton - hence his appearance in the area and tomorrow takes him to Burnley. Bragg's home town of Barking recently voted 11 of the twats in and he said that he wants to learn from Burnley how to kick them out again.
It's all very worthy, but there is a massive element of preaching to the converted. I don't imagine any rabid far-right supporter would have gone to see him in the first place, let alone having their mind changed should they have done.
Perhaps the most relevant thing in terms of anti-fascism was his highlighting of the far-right website Redwatch. I can appreciate people who don't know about this. It's a website that publishes names, addresses and pictures of anti-fascist activists and encourages the kind of twat that supports the BNP to take direct action against them, i.e. violence. It needs shutting down and there were postcards already addressed to Ian Blair exhorting him to take action. Consider one posted, although the number of times I've called the BNP lying racist scum, I'm slightly disappointed I'm not on there.

It's not all politics at a Billy Bragg gig. There's a lot of humour too, both in the lyrics and in the chat between songs. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable night. He measures his enjoyment of gigs by his teabag count. Last night was a three-cups-of-tea gig. That's good, apparently.

He said he'd be back. If he is, I'll definitely go.

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