Billy Bragg: “There’s something in our common pop culture about songs about the railroad, in which the railroad becomes a metaphor for aspiration, for heartbreak, for death.” Photograph: Wendy Lynch Redfern/Redferns

In March 2016, Billy Bragg began to get a sense of the America that would put Donald Trump in the White House. He and the singer, songwriter and produ(...)

Surrendering to the yarragh: Van Morrison at Orangefield High, his old school in Belfast, in August 2014. Photograph: Exile Productions

Van Morrison’s music as I hear it holds a story – a story made of fragments. There is in his music, from the very first, a kind of quest: for the m(...)

There’s no greater debate in rock music: Lennon or McCartney? We sat down with two local musicians to verbally slug it out. In the red corner, repr(...)