So did the ‘British Dylan’ label get tiresome? “It was funny at first. I had not heard Dylan. It was Gyspy Dave [best friend and long time road manager] who gave me a Dylan record. I was listening to Woody Guthrie. Dylan was listening to Woody Guthrie. So it was a bit odd at first, then my second single Colours, separated me from the Dylan or Guthrie tradition.
“What I realise as I look back now; we were the leading artists rising out of the so-called folk/Bohemian world that would mean something. The reason we would mean more than any other folk singer, was the amount of bloody songs we had written.”
So does anyone really have anything to say worth hearing today, in their songs? “It is hard to repeat it. The circumstances of the late 50s and early 60s were totally different from today. It’s not the same today. It was provincial then; bands were exploding out of Stoke, Newcastle, Liverpool. now a band begins not out of a town, but on YouTube. There’s no kind of scene for them to be in. So it is very hard to imagine there being another Dylan or another Donovan or another Beatles.
“The circumstances we grew up in were heavily restricted by Victorian values that we were kicking down as fucking fast as we could. Kicking down the convention, kicking down bigotry, kicking down hypocrisy. What would a singer songwriter choose to attack today? What is the new taboo? I have no idea.