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The cheeky name of Billy Bragg's current touring and recording band. They may sound like a gang of scallywags, but they are in fact a group of very talented and versatile musicians. Gone are the days when Billy was contented with being one man and a guitar. The Blokes have added musical depth and variety to the bard of Barking's work.

The Blokes are:

Ian McLagan, who plays the piano and the Hammond organ. He's getting on a bit, but his cv is outstanding. Among others, he has worked with Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. He is a former member of both The Faces and the Small Faces.

Ben Mandelson, who plays lap Steel Guitar and Bouzouki. His love of world music has added some interesting sounds to Bragg's music. The result can be heard in songs such as Baby Faroukh.

Lu Edmonds, who sings as well as playing electric guitar, sax and Cumbus. In the past he has played with The Damned and Pil.

Martyn Baker is the drummer, who also adds the occasional backing vocal. He has played with Shriekback.

Simon Edwards, who plays bass with Billy. He has also worked with Fairground Attraction and Kirsty MacColl.

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