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68) Billy Bragg Brewing Up With

I always taped TOTP’s each song got a minute, unless it was Wet Wet Wet or Simply Red, to see if it was any good. Billy Bragg is on just with his guitar and amp singing live. My mum is luckily in the room and says, “he can’t bloody sing,” “he’s not miming mum he is doing it live.” Her response, “he should mime.” I disagreed, no shock there as I had been listening to him on Peel and Andy Kershaw and had bought his debut and this his first full length album. The album opens with Bragg attacking the tabloids with their double standards on the powerful It Says Here, as relevant now as back then. Backing vocals are employed on Love Gets Dangerous and with lyrics like “lust is cancer, love is a vice” Billy is more than a barking voice with an amp. The majority of the eleven tracks are still just Bragg with his guitar and he riffs to spectacular effect on both From a Vauxhall Velox and This Guitar Says Sorry , its raw but certainly catchy. Halfway through The Saturday Boy a trumpet suddenly appears as we hear of the boy failing to get the girl, its lovely. Like Soldiers Do is his scratchy guitar and towards the end some echo like backing vocals. The album ends with A Lover Sings an organ accompanies Billy on another song where the love has ended. This is not as immediate as Life’s a Riot, but he was slowly expanding his sound and showing he was in for the long haul. 7.5/10 GIVE IT A STREAM: The Saturday Boy

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