Joining Chris on this episode is Billy Bragg, singer-songwriter, activist, "one-man Clash" and skiffle aficionado. Across the conversation Billy discusses his first musical loves, how he came to pick up the guitar and his eye-opening trip to the United States, on tour with Echo And The Bunnymen. They also touch upon Kirsty MacColl, empathy in music, the art of writing books and the pros and cons of life in the army
The episode also features Michael Kerr, singer/songwriter who received creative support from Help Musicians to work with guitarist John Platania develop his songwriting and performance skills. Michael also received support from Help Musicians' Coronavirus Hardship Fund.
Billy Bragg is the latest in a line of amazing guests on the podcast, with previous episodes featuring Sting, Robbie Williams, Ruby Turner and Nitin Sawhney.
The series coincides with our 100th year as a charity and explores what makes someone want to pursue music as a career, and the ever-changing landscape in which they operate.
Help Musicians has been needed more than ever this past year, providing over £17m in support to 21,000 professional musicians during the pandemic, many of whom slipped through the gaps of government support.
By coming on these podcasts, and speaking honestly about their own challenges, the guests are lifting the curtain on what can be an incredibly difficult career. It comes at a time when live music is beginning to return, and while the charity adapts to support the musicians returning to work.
Through our Music Minds Matter service we also support those in the industry who, like Robbie, experience mental health challenges. The service has seen a huge surge in demand as the music world continues to live with the impact of the pandemic.
The series is hosted on Audioboom and produced by Gimme Sugar.