Billy Bragg announces new UK and Irish tour

The ‘Hope Not Hate’ jaunt kicks off in April

Billy Bragg has announced details of a UK and Irish tour for 2006.

The singer will embark on the ‘Hope Not Hate’ trek next April, a special series of concerts in support of three of the UK’s leading anti-fascist organisations – Unite, Love Music Hate Racism and Searchlight – in the lead-up to the May local council elections.

The tour dates mark Bragg’s first in two years, and will see him playing with [s]Small Faces[/a] keyboard player Ian McLagan and supported by the Mercury Music Prize-nominated Seth Lakeman.

“In my home town, Barking, we’ve organised and begun to turn the tide on the BNP,” Bragg said. “It couldn’t have been done without the support of the unions. If you want to know what trade unions are all about, it’s not just what happens in the workplace, it’s about building communities – communities where people can live side by side in peace and prosperity.”

He added: “That’s why I’m so pleased that Amicus, the GMB, Unison and the RMT are supporting this tour and helping us take the ‘Hope Not Hate’ message out on the road.”

Billy Bragg will play:

Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall (April 23)

Sheffield City Hall (24)

Bradford University (25)

Liverpool Carling Academy (26)

Manchester Bridgewater Hall (28)

Gateshead The Sage (29)

Cardiff St David’s Hall (30)

Barking Broadway (May 1)

Leicester De Montfort Hall (4)

Isle Of Man Douglas Villa Marina (5)

Edinburgh Usher Hall (7)

Exeter Lemon Grove (31)

Dublin Vicar Street (June 3)

For ticket availability, go to NME Tickets or call them on 0870 1 663 663.