Mr. Tom Robinson is a British bass player /singer and one of the most notorious artists from the so called New Wave movement that flourished in England after the Punk implosion around 1980.
He is be a good proof against the extended myth that states that “everything done during the early 80’s is crap”.
As many other acts at those troubled times Tom Robinson’s Band (or TBD, his first project) was very political oriented. Later he became involved in Gay Rights movement and wrote a hit titled “Glad to be Gay” which became an anthem for the British gay community.
Robinson also participated in several anti war organizations and played a role in other left wing and liberal political and environmentalist activities transforming himself in some kind of Political Gay Hero.
Anyway, beyond these issues he was a fine musician who knew how to craft great pop songs with an intense sensibility way beyond the usual Music Industry crappy productions of those years. He never fell into the cheesy techno abyss that swallowed so many bands at the time. One clear proof of his abilities is this album which contains a very nice collaboration with Peter Gabriel (also deeply involved in political and Charity activities at the time). That collaboration is the track “Atmospherics” which, I repeat is very nice, although not the best song of this very good album. North By North was produced by Richard Mazda who also played guitar and made all the studio wizardry.
Probably the most enjoyable element of the album is Robinson’s dark but very pleasant voice. It is a pity his career was so short. In 1985 he stopped performing music and started a new career as a Radio DJ for the BBC. He has been very successful. As a DJ he has been there for more than 20 years. I haven’t heard his show but it has been highly recommended as an excellent blend of old and new, mixed with very good interviews.
For all of you who might be interested, the name of the show is “Evening Sequence” on BBC RADIO 6 MUSIC, from Monday to Friday 7-10 PM UK Time.
If his radio show is as good as this album, I am afraid I’ll become addict to it.
Tom Robinson’s last surprise is that he quitted being gay, married a woman and now has a family. That resignation form homosexuality was well exploited by the never satisfied British gossip press. The Headlines on the Sunday People said: “Britain’s Number One gay in love with girl biker”
Isn’t life weird?
Weirdness is the salt of the earth.
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Tom Robinson -The Night Tide...