Billy Bragg : Bridges Not Walls

Get the latest from Beat

Billy Bragg : Bridges Not Walls


Punk is about rallying against the hegemony, a political or societal norm that is an unashamed injustice – Donald Trump’s Middle East immigration ban, or a function that nourishes small-mindedness like Brexit.

Stephen William Bragg is a punk poet and storyteller whose rich, warm and comforting accent results in every lyric lingering with the listener. 

This duly leads to the poetic proliferation of his messages, like the final song of Bridges Not Walls (a six track mini-album) ‘Full English Brexit’– the metaphor is not overly sophisticated; If you took away the context to the 2016 referendum this song would be the quaint ramblings of a well-regarded musical antiquity. And this is the problem with reviewing artists such as Bragg, because his music is so closely tied with his tireless activism that to say this album is ‘not great’ will be met with cries of “You don’t get it.”

Well you know what, maybe I don’t ‘get it’, but this mini-album lacks consistency and a clear message. Track two, ‘King Tide on a Sunny Day Flood’ is a slack bluegrass number about global warming that features lazy rhyming couplets that Bragg struggles to squeeze into the melody and a whining slide guitar.