The man who spent much of 2011 singing AA Milne poems to happy families is back with a new record. There’ll be no plinky plonky, mind.

“I love swearing and I love engaging with a bit of aggression,” Brighton-based singer-songwriter Chris T-T tells The Guide.

“My favourite music of all is big and aggressive. I love American punk and underground – even really aggressive drum and bass.”

He’s too polite to be joking.

His ninth full-length album, The Bear, was released in October last year. It was recorded with the band who’ve backed him up on stage for full band shows over the past five years, The Hoodrats.

A demo of A Beaten Drum, a melancholic musing on alienation, is a good example of how they changed things.

“It was a pop song with do-be-dos in the backing vocals. I played it to them and they jammed it out and made it much fatter.

“I had given up on it and they rescued it. We played it on XFM and it was my highlight of the show.”

Title track The Bear is a stonking, impassioned battle cry for those fighting adversity.

He hopes it’ll recapture the teens and early 20s kids who felt locked out of the recent family-friendly events.

Old pal Frank Turner turned a new generation on to the 39-year-old’s music (he was open about T-T’s massive influence on his sound).

T-T says The Bear is filled with songs you can sink your teeth into.

“I was a bit bored of being so polite. I almost started to take on a personality doing shows, doing poems which were polite and suitable for all ages. I found myself exaggerating my middle-class- ness and became a parody of polite me.

“It filtered into my solo shows, too, and I found them getting very nice and a bit safe.”

T-T is often written off as a protest singer. He says it’s because of his fifth record, 9 Red Songs – an album of overtly political songs – and that people forget that his first four records were psychedelic pop/rock.

Breaking the mould The truth is he is one of those rare modern artists and musicians with an opinion.

He is a non-conformist, who used to write a column for The Morning Star, has written for Louder Than War magazine and New Public Thinkers.

He has given talks at the forward-thinking TEDx conference, as well as at Brighton’s Great Escape and Digital Festivals.

Last year he was a blogger-in-residence at Brighton Museum and Pavilion (“mind- expanding”, he says, “it will have a huge effect on my songs”).

He says The Bear is not a mid-life crisis record, but he does find the expectations of the modern world frightening.

“Concepts are presented to people as normal choices – the idea we have to work in order to buy house, to get married and raise children in that house for them to follow the same path.

“We have had to create loads of expensive, weird distractions to be satisfied: these massive TVs and computer games, this incredible volume of dominance of non-creative hobbies not making anything.”

As for the music business, we’ve backed ourselves into a corner where all we get are vague universal lyrics about love to appeal to mass crowds which, at the same time, try to build the illusion of being individual.

“It is really boring. We have a culture where the most interesting things are on the periphery and only accessed by a minority.

“Look at someone like John Cooper Clarke – he’s a really stark reminder that the minute you say something in an interesting way, or look different, you just isolate yourself from huge swathes of people.”

T-T came before The X Factor. He had carved a niche for his artistic existence before “talent” shows.

He teaches songwriting to children and worries about parents and their offspring who see talent shows as the only opportunity for creative success or expression, who believe they only have one shot at success.

“If kids are posh and privileged they grow up to be Mumford And Sons or Laura Marling because they can afford to find themselves, they can afford the time and they know when they come back they will still be able to build life after.

“Music is like a privileged person’s gap year for them. For everyone else it is filtered through the medium of Simon Cowell.”

  • Chris T-T plays Bermuda Triangle, King’s Road Arches, Brighton, on Saturday, January 11, starts 7.30pm, tickets £11. Call 01273 606312