Billy Bragg is a singer-songwriter and activist, inspired by the Clash and politicised by the 1984 miner’s strike. He has released 13 studio albums, authored books on Englishness and lyric writing, and is a regular contributor to the national debate as a TV and radio commentator, and newspaper columnist. His latest book, Roots, Radicals & Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World is the first book to explore Britain’s first indigenous pop movement.
Against a backdrop of Cold War politics, rock and roll riots and a newly assertive generation of working-class youth, Skiffle emerged as a do-it-yourself musical movement – and was arguably the spiritual precursor to punk. Its heyday brought us musicians like Lonnie Donegan and Ken Colyer, and sewed the seeds for bands like the Quarrymen, fronted by one John Lennon. Roots, Radicals & Rockers is a joyous account of how skiffle sparked a revolution that shaped pop music as we have come to know it.