Billy Bragg

Live Bootleg

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This CD marks the first "official" live album by Billy Bragg. Various tracks had been available before, as well as a promotional CD released in Canada (Billy Bragg Live-Limited Edition), but Live Bootleg is the first complete recording released by Bragg. Bragg is a brilliant live performer and that is in evidence with this release. His witty onstage banter is, for the most part, kept intact, which adds to the sheer enjoyment. Bragg performs some of the material solo (the wonderful "To Have and Have Not"), but the majority of the CD is with his touring band at the time, the Red Stars (which included long time collaborators Wiggy and Cara Tivey). The music is energetic and tight and stays fairly faithful to the studio versions. Bragg improvises some lyrics (especially in "Sexuality," which features a very funny introduction). This is quite simply a brilliant album, and one that Bragg fans should not go without. The CD was originally available as a limited edition pressing from Bragg's "Information Service."

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