This working class hero plays his world-class classics at AB’s express request
AB delves into the The Sound Of Protest and lets the voices of Turkish social protest songs, London’s grime, the call for (musical) borderlessness, the Black Lives Matter movement and working Punk Icons fully resound.
Folk troubadour and working class hero Billy Bragg is living proof that romance and politics can go hand in hand. You see, Bragg wrote the finest romantic songs ever. Think: ‘Milkman Of Human Kindness’, ‘The Man In The Iron Mask’ or ‘Must I Paint You A Picture’ (with that great sentence ‘Most important decisions in life are made between two people in bed’). But it was in ’78, during a concert that was a part of the ‘Rock Against Racism’ campagne of his heroes The Clash, that Bragg realized that politics and pop could perfectly well go hand in hand.
Bragg has been involved in grassroots organisations and political movements for pretty much his entire career, which is of course reflected in his songs. Famous social anthems got the Bragg treatment, eg the ‘The Internationale’ or ‘The Red Flag’ and songs like ‘Rumours Of War’ (as a result of the Gulf war), ‘There Is Power in a Union’ or the anti-war song ‘Island of No Return’ were rich with well-considered statements.
Bragg on his political activism: “I don't mind being labelled a political songwriter. The thing that troubles me is being dismissed as a political songwriter.” And also: “People tell me that they are inspired by my songs, and for that I’m thankful, but I take my inspiration from the only people in this equation who can actually make a difference - the audience. After 25 years of activism, my faith in your ability to change the world is undimmed.”
At the request of AB, Billy Bragg draws from his classic albums 'Life's a Riot with Spy vs Spy' (’83), 'Brewing up with Billy Bragg' (’84), 'Talking with the Taxman about Poetry' (’86) & ‘Workers Playtime' (’88), completed by more recent work. We are honoured. Never before has protest sounded so beautiful, pure and honest.