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Latitude: Billy Bragg’s Essex twang (and knobbly knees) draw a big crowd to the Obelisk Arena

16:59 18 July 2014

Latitude 2014 Billy Bragg

Latitude 2014 Billy Bragg

Nick Butcher Photography 01502 714843

He’s been playing music since the 1970s but Billy Bragg can still command a stage in front of thousands.

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The activist came to Latitude showcasing his “Americana” – music he says is for people “who like The Smiths”.

His 50 minute set drew a large crowd at the Obelisk Arena from festival-goers young and old.

Bragg can never be mistaken for a Jeff Buckley or Thom Yorke in terms of his vocal range but what he does have is charisma.

Jokes aplenty, he kept the laughs coming throughout, whether it was on his “knobbly knees” or “Essex twang”.

He’s been on Newsnight but he was never too serious with his audience, instead playing his songs which matched the rather chilled atmosphere.

One gag on the “crisis of masculinity” hit the button; Bragg said to not expect to be as handy with a hammer as our dads - something many have-a-go DIYers need to embrace.

What’s great about music festivals is the juxtaposition of the artists. Following Bragg is the Grammy award-nominated singer Kelis, famous for her Milkshake song. Quite a departure from Bragg with his mid-life musings on the world.

For full Latitude coverage, see our Latitude 2014 page www.eadt.co.uk/what-s-on/latitude

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