GUARDIAN May 1986
TOM ROBINSON AT THE DUKE OF YORK'S
By Robin Deneslow
AFTER a 13-year switchback career that has involved periods of massive
success, as well as periods when he has fallen badly out of fashion, Tom
Robinson is once again edging back into the musical frame. Every Sunday
in May he is appearing in the West End for his first London shows in 18
months (apart from guest spots at benefits).
He gives a long and brave performance, for the first half consists of
his biggest successes so far, while the second set is entirely new material
from a forthcoming album. Most performers would play safe and end with
the guaranteed favourites rather than actually start with 24-6-8 Motorway.
Backed by a competent, if somewhat rough and ready, five-piece band, and
looking far-more athletic than he did back in the punk era, he began by
running through the early angry songs like Power In The Darkness and Glad
To Be Gay (an anthem that horrified even the most adventurous independent
record companies in the seventies) alongside later ballad's like his '83
hit. War Baby.
What they had in common was a mixture of a very English tunefulness, with
echoes of music hall in songs like Martin, alongside an evocative European
influence presumably derived from the time he has spent in Germany.
On the first hearing the new songs seemed very much in the European mould,
as follow-up to Atmospherics Many were like condensed stories with futuristic
fantasy lyrics - about life in Holland or Belgium in the next century,
but alongside these was a solid, mainstream new rocker, This Little Romance
Is Over. It sounded as if the new album should bring an other up-turn
in his career.