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Baker's Dozen

Natural Rhythm: Chris Packham's Favourite Albums
Luke Turner , July 4th, 2012 05:22

Broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham talks Luke Turner through his favourite albums... includes punk rock riot, hitchhiking, and singing poodles


Billy Bragg - Talking To The Taxman About Poetry
Just so many great lyrics... Greetings To The New Brunette, "How can you lie back and think of England when you don't even know who's in the team". I know it's cheesy but it makes me laugh. 'New England', when that came out, it was just fantastic, this man with a guitar that made a horrible sound and he could barely sing. It was very of its time, very Socialist Worker, very angsty, very Thatcher's Britain. But in amongst it all some really good songs. Billy Bragg would be a good candidate for including in Springwatch, because they're good song titles aren't they? They've got to be that sort of title, identifiable and quite tricky. What's the other one? 'Levi Stubbs' Tears'. And some EPs at the time were really good, and I saw Billy Bragg play loads of times because he was always at festivals, it was always a treat. I've got to tell you this because I haven't got many musical claims to fame, but we made a film with Billy Bragg, I suppose it must have been about six or seven years ago, because there was due to be the change in the law that meant publicans needed a licence to have live music in their pubs, and he was campaigning against it. It ended up at about half eleven, and we were in a place called Blandford in Dorset, not the most urban environment. We said to him what we want to do is to close the film with him busking in a subway and I'd go and throw a penny in his guitar case. We actually found a subway in Blandford, this quiet Dorset town, under a roundabout! We went in there just before midnight, there was no-one around at all, just the camera man, sound man and myself, and Billy Bragg said to me 'what do you want me to play then?' He played 'New England' and I'm not afraid to say I had to blink back the tears. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life, standing there, with this personal performance of 'New England', which he played all the way through. He was a lovely bloke. One of the highlights of my life, it was awesome, absolutely awesome, Billy Bragg saying 'what would you like me to play'.