Billy Bragg on Ed Sheeran: “He’s basically doing what I do, with a few more foot pedals”

Bragg also wants Meghan Markle to headline Glastonbury

Billy Bragg has revealed that he thinks Ed Sheeran can inspire people to become musicians, even if he doesn’t like the star’s music personally.

Bragg was speaking to NME at today’s Ivor Novello awards, where he was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution To British Music award. Sheeran, meanwhile, won Songwriter Of Yhe Year and Most Performed Work for ‘Shape of You’. See the full winners list here.

“I’m not a great fan of his music, but to see him up there in a huge arena, I’d like to think there are people in the audience who think, ‘I can do that’,” Bragg said.

He added: “No disrespect, Ed, but he’s basically doing what I do. He’s just got a few more foot pedals than I have and obviously he writes much more commercial music than me.”

Bragg continued: “What you need to inspire people is someone on stage and you think to yourself something I thought when I saw The Clash: ‘Shit, I can do that’. Seeing someone solo on stage with a guitar gives people that kind of idea.”

The veteran political songwriter went on to discuss the importance of grime, Stormzy’s powerful BRIT Awards performance and why Meghan Markle should headline Glastonbury. Watch the interview in full above.

Asked whether he thought Jeremy Corbyn could still become Prime Minister, Bragg replied: “The only person putting forward an idea of a positive, progressive society – a fair society – is Corbyn.”