Life’s a Riot with Spy Vs Spy – Billy Bragg

I was 22 years when I heard this album and I am 45 now but I won’t be for long.
I thought I would give this a spin today as I haven’t played it for years. It is a great album/EP/mini album with some classic moments. A New England is brilliant, mixing high idealism with just wanting a girlfriend, it is clever and funny. The standout track for me though is Man in the Iron Mask, a hauntingly beautiful song about the fragility of love, sung slightly off-key, maybe on purpose, by Mr. Bragg. I also like, the far too short, A Busy Girl Buys Beauty, this song seems to almost have a greater resonance today than it even did back then.
I don’t buy this idea that Mr. Bragg is the everyman spokesman for the everyman. I could have sworn I saw him once backstage wearing a pair of leather trousers and reading a Jeffrey (this is slang for a Jeffrey Archer novel or other comparable shite), sorry you have been outed William of Bragg (copyright NME circa 1991).
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Don’t Try This at Home – Billy Bragg

Or if you are asking for this in Newcastle -‘Diven’t Try This at Yhem’.
Actually this phrase is usually used as a warning about leaving a chip pan on and falling asleep after eight pints.
Some classic Braggmeister (copyright NME, cica 1988) moments here from, Accident Waiting to Happen to the haunting Moving the Goalposts. The Braggster (copyright NME, circa 1991) also finds his pop song chops with the wonderful You Woke Up my Neighbourhood and Sexuality. The album’s best track, for me, is Everywhere (written by the equally magnificent Sid Griffin), an exploration of the dialectic of nationhood, race, war and nationalism, although to be honest I think Boy George said it better when he said ‘War war is stupid, and people are stupid’.
I think this is the Braggski’s (copyright NME, circa 1993) strongest set of songs, even the fillers are classics (I don’t do fillers son) like Rumours of War and Wish You Were Her.
Best lyrical fragment; I look like Robert De Niro, I drive a Mitsubishi Zero
Hidden gem; Tank Park Salute