Saturday, 19 April 2008

Billy Bragg Rough Trade Brick Lane

Dagenham Lad
Shoreditch is an area famous for markets, Brick Lane and curry houses. The pubs like the "Edie Sedgwick meets Sweeney Todd" Commercial Tavern where we met are geared up for the night-time drinking at any time. They do this by making the interiors very dark, lighting candles and it really works. More a staging post than a destination. We were holed up there before taking the short walk to a record store - Rough Trade - as part of Independent Record Store Day.

The shop is just off of Brick Lane by the old Truman's Brewery and was pretty busy when we arrived. A DJ set was playing with members of an ex techno kraut rock band called Can. We were waiting for the man from Essex to show up with his guitar and a few minutes later, there was the click of a telecaster styled guitar being plugged for action.

Then we were all asked to move forward a bit which meant we were right by the speakers. "How loud?" asked Billy as he started. "Louder" came the response. And then a set of well known goodies played with Billy Bragg's characteristic style, interspersed with banter which included some stories of his own time working in a record shop which sold remaindered Indian vinyls.

Just because you're better than me
Doesn't mean I'm lazy
Just because I dress like this
Doesn't mean I'm a narcissist

The factories are closing and the army's full -
I don't know what I'm going to do
But I've come to see in the Land of the Free
There's only a future for the Chosen Few

Just because you're better than me
Doesn't mean I'm lazy
Just because you're going forwards
Doesn't mean I'm going backwards

An excellent set; we all left happy, with smiles on our faces and a ringing in our ears. Kudos to all involved. No video from the event, but here's one I prepared earlier

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