Fair-thee-well – Fairgrounds 2018, yeah!

In 1986 (yes, that long ago), my brother Simon and I read a review of an emerging singer’s new record, describing him as “the acoustic Clash”. Whether a pertinent epithet or not, being Clash devotees, we raced out to buy the record that day. That record was Billy Bragg’s ‘Talking With the Taxman About Poetry”, and Billy instantly became a full-scale favourite. We subsequently devoured his every album and tour, learning every word of every song and being completely devoted fans. His overt political leanings in turn inspired similar leanings in us; decidedly left-wing but also, most importantly, helping me develop my own “socialism of the heart”, a motto I live by to this day. Also importantly, what I loved about Billy was that he sung in his own broad East London accent, about things he saw in his own world. Basically, for three decades, Billy has been an absolute hero of mine and has inspired me to write and perform in my own manner, in a way that has felt right for me, speaking in my own accent too and not being ashamed of that. So, yes, three decades ago, Billy changed my life – and now, 32 years later, wow, guess what? I’m very excited to say that myself and the Aerial Maps are going join Billy on the bill of this year’s Fairgrounds Festival. Stunned and stoked. A dream come true in the very purest sense. I’ve never met the great man, but intend to have a beer with him at some stage during the festival – I will try to form coherent sentences. Oh and the Breeders are on too. And Courtney Barnett. As my dad would’ve said, “Christ almighty!” The way life works hey??? Buy tix here: https://bit.ly/2nxwDYe