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.
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.
This competition runs until Wednesday 6 June.