Ye Vagabonds live @ Grand Social, Dublin, December 2nd 2015...

Pat Barrett witnesses magic – his review of Ye Vagabonds at the Grand Social, Dublin.

Colm Mac Con Iomaire – Agus Anois An Aimsir...

Guest contributor Pat Barrett of the Hedge Schools is smitten by the new Colm Mac Con Iomaire album ‘Agus Anois an Aimsir ‘.

Billy Bragg – Tooth and Nail...

Amidst the glamour and glitter of eighties pop music, Billy Bragg, aka the Bard of Barking stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb. He was a genuine protest singer, wearing his left wing, socialist colours proudly, and following a direct lineage from Woody Guthrie through to Bob Dylan as ardent believers that pop music could be used as a weapon to agitate for real and meaningful change in society. His appearance on Top of the Pops in 1985 was something of a landmark in British popular culture; as the bitterly divisive Miner’s Strike raged across Britain, a fresh faced Bragg took to the stage in the clothes of the working man, eschewing the shallow glitz of the 80s pop star, to deliver a defiant and poignant rendition of ‘Between the Wars’, just one man, an electric guitar, and passion by the bucket load. Bragg went on to pen hit songs such as ‘A New England’ and ‘Levi Stubs Tears’, songs that have endured to this very day and he has continued to write and record with varying degrees of success for the last two and a half decades. Tooth and Nail, his first studio album in five years, will surprise those fans of Bragg who lost touch with his music as the eighties drew to a close. Anyone expecting a reprise of the angry young man and his scratchy sounding electric guitar routine may be in for a disappointment – the days of the Billy Bragg of old, belting out his punky, agit-pop in his defiantly unique accent are long gone. Tooth and Nail is a likeable, laid back collection of songs that wears it’s folky Americana influences on its sleeve. Largely acoustic based, with tasteful slide guitar and simple arrangements, Tooth and Nail...