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Weekend larks (Nov 25-27)

Billy Bragg at the Picket, Hope Street Christmas, Anoushka Shankar and, er....something else

Written by . Published on November 25th 2011.

Weekend larks (Nov 25-27)

Bragg time
Since taking over the running of the Left Field at Glastonbury Festival in 2010, Billy Bragg has made an effort to showcase young artists who are mixing pop and politics. 

He has taken that concept on the road and his Left Field in Motion Tour comes to The Picket tonight. There's a ticket price pegged lower than usual in an attempt to connect a new generation to the power of music with something to say.

Writing in the NME recently, Bragg recognised that the summer riots had created a unique moment for young artists to step up and offer their perspective: “The disturbances of the past weeks have stirred up a shit storm of opinion in the mainstream media, much of it from people who have no real experience of the pressures faced by this generation, the first in a century that are likely to grow up worse off than their parents. Though this situation has been building for some years, the disturbances have created an opportunity for young people to provide an alternative commentary.” 

MOBO Award winning hip hop artist and founder of The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company Akala will also be appearing.

Support for all the shows will be from the astounding genre-defying hip hop poetry of Sound of Rum as they continue to attract endless superlatives in their unshakeable quest to make everyone "hear what we are doing". 

Bragg says “Music helped me to make connections when I was growing up – between the situation I found myself in and the powerful people who put me there. Artists need to start engaging in this debate again and The King Blues, Akala and Sound of Rum are inspiring examples of those prepared to push against the power.”

Billy Bragg, The Picket, Jordan Street, Friday and Sat Nov 25-26. Tickets £15 on the door or £10 advance from from here 

Christmas Fair at Hope Street
Yes, it’s that time of the year. Well it isn't, but you know what we mean.

XmasXmasAnd now Christmas is coming to the Hope Street Quarter on Saturday with a festive Christmas Fair in and all around Blackburne House. Ho, ho, bloody ho.

For the second year running, the Christmas on Hope Street Fair will host a festive arts, crafts and vintage fair and a tabled food gifts market inside Blackburne House.

The Outdoor Food Market will showcase some of the area’s restaurants, including 60 Hope Street, The Quarter and the London Carriage Works selling top-quality munchies, mulled wine and stuff. And after you’ve stuffed your face with mince pies and the likes, you can browse the stalls for Christmas knickknacks and present ideas, while listening to choirs blasting out all the festive tunes. 

And if all this fills you with holiday syrup and makes you a little queasy, Shiverpool will be keeping up that fantastic English Christmas tradition of telling creepy ghost stories around the fire... and we’re not talking about burning the turkey or forgetting to buy the Christmas crackers.

*Christmas on Hope Street Fair, Saturday 26th November, Blackburne House, free entry

The 50th Real Ale Festival
If all the Christmas humbug gets you thirsty, head down to the Ship and Mitre this weekend for a taste of more ales than you can down in one sitting. Or ever, for that matter.

It’s the 50th Real Ale Festival, and as with all of their real ale festivals they have forked out a grand selection of over 100 real ales; 14 will be available on the stillage bar, 12 at any given time on the main bar, and during quieter periods, cellar runs will be available. So there’s really no excuse not to taste something new. You can even download a list of the ales on their website and plan your ale-consumption in advance... if that doesn’t sound weird.

And if all that ale makes you a little peckish, never fear. Ship and Mitre’s kitchen has finished its transition period and is servicing the hungry; so as with all festivals, food will also be available throughout. 

The 50th Real Ale Festival, Friday 25th November, The Ship & Mitre, free entry

Anoushka Shankar
Sitar player, singer and songwriter Anoushka Shankar is rather fabulous, and from a stellar family that includes dad Ravi, George Harrison's old mucker, and Nora Jones, not to mention their Ananda.

AnoushkaTheir AnoushkaDeeply rooted in Indian classical music, but with a twist of other cultures fusing into the mix as well, this little sitar bird has been exploring fertile ground in the crossover between Indian music and a variety of genres including flamenco, electronica, jazz and Western classical music.

Born in London, and raised between there, New Delhi and California, it’s not really a massive surprisethe twice-Grammy-nominated Anoushka is a multi-cultural musician. And unless you’re a puritist of sound, you can enjoy her fused tunes in the Philharmonic Hall this Saturday, when she taps on to material from her new album.

Anoushka Shankar, Saturday 26th November, from 7.30pm, Philharmonic Hall, tickets from £26

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