Billy Bragg coming to Chch

VICKI ANDERSON
Last updated 13:01 03/08/2012
Billy Bragg
Getty Images

HIGHLY REGARDED: Billy Bragg will perform in Christchurch in October.

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Billy Braggis coming to Christchurch as part of a New Zealand tour in October.

The "Ain't Nobody That Can Sing Like Me" tour will see Bragg perform shows in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and a special "benefit gig" in Christchurch.

Tour organisers describe the tour as a "two-part show". The first half celebrates the legacy of the godfather of folk music Woody Guthrie, and the second is pure Bragg spanning a 14-album career.

The dates confirmed so far are Auckland's Town Hall on October 12, Wellington's Opera House on October 13 and Dunedin, as part of the Otago Festival of the Arts, on October 14.

No Christchurch date has been confirmed yet.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Woody Guthrie, folk singer and "dust-bowl troubadour", a prolific writer whose songs, ballads, prose and poetry championed the plight of the underdog.

Bragg has a special musical affinity with Guthrie - when Guthrie's daughter, Nora, unearthed a treasure trove of her father's unrecorded lyrics after his death, Bragg and the Wilco band worked together setting these to music, creating the critically acclaimed Mermaid Avenue albums. The Complete Sessions has just been released, including Mermaid Avenue Vol. III.

Bragg will play songs from Guthrie's extensive repertoire as well as the Mermaid Avenue albums, giving audiences new insights into one of the most influential figures in popular music, a man who inspired artists from Bob Dylan to Joe Strummer, as well as Bragg himself.

In the show's second half, Bragg will take a trip through his back catalogue in his own inimitable style.

In almost three decades of performing and activism, Bragg, described by The Times as a "national treasure", has crafted an incredible collection of songs traversing the personal and the political.

A guardian of the radical dissenting tradition that stretches back over centuries of political, cultural, and social history, Bragg is a consummate performer and gifted raconteur. His live shows, like his songs, are funny, warm, sad and true.

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