Billy Bragg & The King Blues, Leadmill

0
Have your say

WELL, yeah, it’s Billy Bragg. The bloke’s a living legend. Of course he was good.

He did what Billy Bragg does. Some songs, some political ranting (James Murdoch bad, Occupy Sheffield good, etc etc), and some A New England to round things up. All boxes ticked, thanks very much.

But, tonight, the real show-stealers, are support The King Blues.

It’s the first time this writer has seen them and they are astonishing. Treading that most energising of lines between the sublime and the ridiculous, the six-piece London mash-up are the sound of inner-city young Britain right now.

Mixed of race, gender and, by the looks of them, taste in drugs (the drummer has the air of a man who knows his way round a doobie, while the bassist is heroin thin), their songs - a mix of punk, hip hop, hardcore and do wop - are bristling with anger, self-riotousness and malevolence.

Touching on The Specials, Jamie T and Minor Threat, they advocate shooting Fascists, sympathise with rioting Britain, and claim the streets for the disenfranchised.

They’re fierce, ferocious and frankly really rather good.

Fair play to Bragg for having them along.

Colin Drury