Friday, 25 October 2013

Roy Bailey - still dissenting

Roy's Below The Radar album (2009)
For more than 50 years, Roy Bailey has been one of the British folk and acoustic scene’s most admired performers. He began, as so many veteran folkies did, performing skiffle in student union bars, later developing a love of traditional songs and the stories they tell, finally developing a unique repertoire of songs of dissent and hope. In 2000 he was awarded an MBE for services to folk music, an award he later returned in protest at the government’s foreign policy. In 1990, Roy and Tony Benn first presented their show, The Writing on the Wall, for which the duo won Best Live Act at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2003. The show has been performed to enthusiastic audiences the length and breadth of the UK, from 300 people in working men's clubs, to an estimated 9000 people at Cambridge Folk Festival in 2000. Roy's association with Tony began in 1976 and they have worked together on various programmes ever since.

Approaching 78 years of age, Roy remains committed to his lifelong principles of equality, liberty, justice and internationalism. He is a member of the current Anti-Capitalist Roadshow along with many of this country's finest socialist folk singers and songwriters.

I recall Roy once stating that he didn't accept the term 'protest singer', as the term was inadequate. He said, "We are dissenters" - suggesting that dissenting from a system that throws up injustice is more powerful than merely protesting against its worst excesses. 

You can see Roy in Southport this Sunday 27 October at the Bothy Folk Club, Park Golf Club, Park Road West, Southport, PR9 0JS, starting at 8.00pm. On-line tickets. Thwaites real ale. Loads of free parking.


  1. When I saw the post title I thought he'd died! Glad to hear he's going strong for the time being.

  2. Good point; I'll change the title.

  3. Interesting. Were you referring to THE Tony Benn?, former Labour cabinet minister, and veteran politician?


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