Billy Bragg has been making waves for over 35 years. Among the former Saturday boy’s albums are his punk-charged debut Life’s a Riot With Spy Vs Spy, the more love-infused Workers Playtime, pop classic Don’t Try This At Home, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee-timed treatise on national identity England, Half-English, and his stripped-down tenth, Tooth & Nail, his most successful since the early 90s.
The intervening three decades have been marked by becoming a father, a number one hit single, having a street named after him, being the subject of a South Bank Show, appearing onstage at Wembley Stadium, curating Left Field at Glastonbury, sharing spotted dick with a Cabinet minister in the House of Commons cafeteria, being mentioned in Bob Dylan’s memoir and meeting the Queen.
At their best, Billy’s songs present ‘the perfect Venn diagram between the political and the personal’ (the Guardian). Bragg has recently added best-selling author/musicologist to his CV with the success of his acclaimed 2017 book Roots, Radicals & Rockers – How Skiffle Changed The World and 2019’s The Three Dimensions of Freedom.