Sunday, May 16, 2010

tom robinson: glad to be grey

I recently launched a site devoted to Tom Robinson's pioneering protest song Glad To Be Gay, which made me dig out his debut album Power In The Darkness. With its crackling anger at a chaotic society of rising industrial unrest and insecurity amidst repressive government and the far right shouting loud and clear, it's uncannily appropriate for 2010.

It seems I've timed it well for a rekindling of interest in Robinson's stuff. New Statesman recently listed the top 20 political songs and there, among Strange Fruit, This Land Is Your Land and the Internationale, is Glad To Be Gay. Next month Richard Thompson's curating a Meltdown in London, and for his Evening of Political Song he's invited Tom to play.

That guest spot at Meltdown is something of a rarity. In recent years, as his career as a broadcaster and standard bearer for new music on BBC 6Music has taken off, Robinson's touring schedule has evaporated. So it's a real treat to find out that he's performing a one-off concert at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London on his 60th birthday, 1st June.

There'll be an extensive set from Tom and band taking in the full sweep of his career, with assorted guests like TV Smith. As he hurtles towards retirement age he's called the gig - what else? - Glad To Be Grey.

It's more than a pun on the signs of ageing, though. In the mid 90s he often used to say before playing Glad To Be Gay, 'in the black and white world of sexuality, I'm glad to be grey'.

Tickets are £15. You can get them online via the gig's site. If you go in person to any O2 Academy box office and pay cash, you get them without any of the ripoff booking fees.

There'll be support from several of the bands he's championed on 6Music, Chew Lips, Little Comets, Eugene McGuinness and Cosmo Jarvis. The whole shebang'll be hosted by Steve Lamacq.

There are more details to come, and they'll be put on the Glad To Be Grey site, which, even if you're not going to the gig, is worth a visit to see the video of him talking you through how to play 2-4-6-8 Motorway.

Tom Robinson birthday gig

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello! Love your site about Glad to be Gay. Thanks! Shea