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Wednesday 25 July 2018

From Rock Against Racism To Trump & Beyond: Tom Robinson Brings Seminal Debut Album To Brighton

The Tom Robinson Band's debut album Power In The Darkness was first performed forty years ago in Victoria Park, London, in front of 80,000 people at Rock Against Racism's Carnival Against The Nazis, alongside Steel Pulse, The Clash and X-Ray Spex. 

The album was certified gold in the UK and Japan and when Tom performed the entire Power In The Darkness LP at London's 100 Club in 2017, all three shows sold out almost instantly. 

In October 2018, to mark the album's 40th anniversary, Tom will once again perform it live on tour in the UK - including a date in Brighton.

As ever his band features Faithless drummer Andy Treacey, guitarist Adam Phillips (Richard Ashcroft Band), keyboard virtuoso Jim Simmons and Tom himself on bass and vocals. 

Tom Robinson first became known in 1977 as a musician, LGBT activist and anti-racist campaigner with the Tom Robinson Band (TRB) whose debut release 2-4-6-8 Motorway became one of the landmark singles of the UK punk era. 

Other well-known songs at the time included Glad To Be Gay, Up Against The Wall and Too Good To Be True.

Recently Tom performed his song Glad to be Gay with updated lyrics to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales. 


In the past, Glad To Be Gay was banned by the BBC with a 'do not play' sticker. 

In a recent interview with Gay Star News, Robinson mentions the struggles the LGBT community have faced with mainstream media producing homophobic headlines, In particular, publications owned by Rupert Murdoch.  

Robinson, referring the Murdoch news empire, said "Commissioned by bigots and written by shits ... Rebecca and Rupert still do what they please."

Rupert Murdoch owns titles including the Sun, Sky News and Fox News. Back when it was still running he also owned News Of The World. In 1967 they ran an editorial calling the change in the law a 'charter for corruption.' 

Robinson has updated the 1976 lyrics to now say 'For 42 years now, I've fought for the right for people to love whoever they like. Today we can laugh as we march to the park, with clause 28 consigned to the past'...'Bisexual, lesbian, flexible, straight  - we're in, we're human and we're all happy to say we're glad to be gay' 

Amendment 28 was enacted on 24th May 1988 and stated that Local Authorities in England, Scotland and Wales shall not intentionally promote homosexuality, publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality or promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.

As a radio broadcaster Tom hosts three shows a week on BBC Radio 6 Music, served for 10 years on the Ivor Novello Awards committee and was awarded a fellowship of LIPA in recognition of his support for new music with BBC Introducing. 

Tom Robinson plays 'Power In The Darkness' at the Brighthelm Centre, Brighton, on Saturday 6th October 2018. CLICK HERE for tickets.

by: Mike Cobley




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credit Andy Willsher

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Photo credit: Sarah Millican

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(c) The Unthanks 2018

The Emily Brontë Song Cycle is a new work commissioned by the Brontë Society, written and recorded using Emily Brontë’s piano in her home, by composer, pianist and producer Adrian McNally of the band The Unthanks, and performed with sisters Rachel & Becky Unthank.

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