Has Music Gone Soft? Billy Bragg Gave His Take On Last Night's 'Q&A'

4 December 2018 | 9:37 am | Staff Writer

"I think what's happened is that music has lost its vanguard role in youth culture."

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UK music legend Billy Bragg joined ABC's Q&A panel last night and as just like his appearance on the show last year, it was one to remember. 

Fielding a question regarding if music has "gone centrist" or "a bit soft", Bragg responded by saying that "music has lost its vanguard role in youth culture".

"When I was first making music in the '70s, when I was 19 and wanted to talk about the world, I couldn't get on Q&A," he said.

"I had to learn to play guitar, write songs, do gigs. That was the only medium available to me. 

"Now, if you're 19 and you're angry about the world you've got a number of different ways that you can express yourself; on blogs, you can make a film on your phone... "

However Bragg insisted that despite this, music still has a role in encouraging people to "think about issues".

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"It can help to set the agenda. It can help to offer a different perspective," he explained.

"Music gives you something you can't get on the internet, which is a sense of communion. Whether it's a political song or a love song, music can make you feel empathy for people that you've never met and for situations that you yourself have never been in."

Watch the full clip above. 

The Essex-born songwriter also weighed in on last week's student climate change strike, calling the government's response "unbelievable".

"Obviously the future of the planet is really in their hands. It's their future we're talking about," he said.

"Of course they should be able to make a stand."

Bragg is currently in Australia in support of this past weekend's Fairgrounds Festival (check out our review here), as well as some upcoming headline shows. 

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