Short, sharp and frank reviews from a confessed vinyl junkie. I’ll be posting my most loved records and most recent purchases right here for your perusal every week.
Bronski Beat – The Age of Consent. Reissue of the debut album from the London based trio. When it comes to releasing brave records, I can’t think of many that are quite as plucky as this one. Originally released in 1984, at a time when it certainly wasn’t easy for men to have sexual relationships with one another, Jimmy Somerville and his friends briefly turned the world on its head by releasing this very openly gay, Pop Soul classic.
Debut single ‘Small Town Boy’ remains an 80s anthem and is certainly one of my favourites from the decade. Jimmy’s falsetto vocals, over a driving electro Disco beat (AKA High Energy), sounded forceful but somehow mournful at the same time. A closer listen revealed the story of a bullied boy, all because of his sexuality. The second single, ‘Why’, was a question that needed answering regarding a ridiculous ‘law’ in the UK at the time (Police being able to arrest men for embracing each other in public).
The album’s title was also a question: why should the age of consent for homosexuals be 21 when it was 16 for heterosexuals? The debut continues down this path of politics throughout, along with a few covers thrown in (their rendition of ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’, a Porgy & Bess track, is nothing short of brilliant) for good measure.
The Age of Consent’ has stood the test of time well and should certainly be lauded for its tenacity at a time of downright ignorance.
Listen to Bronski Beat – The Age of Consent – BELOW: