EP114 - Billy Bragg - Singer, Songwriter, Activist, Red Wedge… ”You better listen now you’ve said your bit…”
When I first started this podcast, I created a wish-list of potential guests. You would too right?.
It's fair to say that Billy Bragg was one of those early entries in my notebook.
A musician, author, broadcaster and left-wing activist who fronted the 1980s Red Wedge movement with, among others, Paul Weller.
He'a also pretty active as a gigging musician, touring the world, and so tying him down to a recording was always going to be pretty tricky.
Here's the other thing that I should mention...
On the release of this podcast, Billy is actually the only guest to come on who I have actually interviewed in my former life as a radio presenter. It was one of my absolute career highlights when working at the BBC in the late nineties.
He's a hugely talented singer and songwriter.
To Have and To Have Not, The Milkman of Human Kindness, Levi Stubbs' Tears, Sexuality, A New England, You Woke Up My Neighbourhood, Between The Wars, We Laughed... I could go on...
Billy continues to surprise and delight with his music, to my ears he never seems to repeat himself and much like Paul, is looking to try new things and push himself into new ways of working and creating music.
We kick off our chat with his love of The Jam and the influence the band and Paul's lyrics had him as a young man.
You'll hear about supporting The Style Council on an early Council Meeting tour to the Red Wedge project where you'll hear there is nothing but warmth and gratitude for Paul's input and collaboration throughout.
We'll also chat about connections from the solo years from Go Discs label mates in the nineties to Jools Holland Later TV around A Kind Revolution for Paul and Billy's book Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World.
Most of all throughout our hour-long conversation, you'll hear a man who respects Paul - as a fellow singer / songwriter - as an innovator and as a huge musical talent with an incredible work ethic, vision and back catalogue.
Find out more in the show notes for this podcast at Paulwellerfanpodcast.com/episode-114-billy-bragg
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