Bragg channels Guthrie into Occupy London

Learning how to do live TV interviewing with visionOntv is a laugh, you never know who might walk into their instant pop-up studios. I found myself interviewing the songwriter Billy Bragg this week down at the newly squatted Bank of Ideas, having dropped by to lend a hand.

Bragg is a veteran of political activism and song-writing, blending folk, punk and protest into his work over several decades. He recently reworked the lyrics to the classic “Which Side Are You On?”, a song written by Florence Reece in 1931, using ones inspired by Occupy London.

“Those who’ve been fighting for a fair and compassionate society in the 20th century feel that the wind is blowing our way now and we are very, very excited by what’s going on with the Occupy movement,” he said during a video interview at the newly squatted former offices of Swiss bank UBS.

He spoke after running a free song-writing workshop.

“What we are doing is Woody Guthrie’s work,” said Bragg, crediting the American singer-song writer as having inspired him and the work of a whole generation of other artists such as Joe Strummer of the Clash and Bob Dylan.

So what did I pick up about TV interviewing from all this? Sit still, don’t swing in your swivel chair, chill out and, most of all, switch off your damn mobile phone before the no-edit interview begins. All useful lessons learnt thanks to the fantastic platform and energy offered by the fine people of visionOntv. (The mobile phone incident is in the second featured video below)