Bronski Beat are an English synthpop trio which achieved success in the mid-1980s, particularly with the 1984 chart hit "Smalltown Boy", from their debut album The Age of Consent. All members of the band were openly gay and their songs reflected this, often containing political commentary on gay-related issues. The initial line-up, which recorded the majority of the band's hits, consisted of Jimmy Somerville (vocals), Steve Bronski (born Steven William Forrest, keyboards, percussion) and Larry Steinbachek (keyboards, percussion).
Somerville left Bronski Beat in 1985, and went on to have success as lead singer of The Communards and as a solo artist. He was replaced by new vocalist John Foster, with whom the band continued to have hits in the UK and Europe through 1986. Foster left Bronski Beat after their second album, and the band used a series of vocalists before dissolving in 1996. Steve Bronski, the only remaining original member, now leads a revived touring version of the band, and has recorded new material alongside 1990s member Ian Donaldson. Larry Steinbachek died in 2016.
Links to Peel
Peel described the trio's Smalltown Boy hit as a possible contender for début single of the year on Top Of The Pops in June 1984. Several months later in September of that year, the group recorded a session for Peel's show, which got it's first broadcast on 15th October 1984.
According to available playlists on this site, it seems Bronski Beat was rarely played by Peel himself, but his Radio One colleagues, Kid Jensen and later Janice Long seemed to have played their songs quite frequently on their shows. Nonetheless by the end of 1984, Peel's listeners voted their hit Smalltown Boy in the Festive Fifty.
Festive Fifty Entries
- 1984 Festive Fifty: Smalltown Boy FF #48
- Close To The Edge / Puits D'Amour / The Potato Field / Ultra Clone
Other Shows Played
- 18 December 1984: 'Smalltown Boy (7 inch)' (Forbidden Fruit) FF #48 (JP: 'There you are, you see, it's not all wilfully obscure stuff.')
- Karl's Tape June 1984: Why? (Kid Jensen session)
- Karl's Tape June 1984: Ain't Necessarily So (Kid Jensen session)
- Karl's Tape June 1984: Crazy Maraquitta (Kid Jensen session)
- Karl's Tape March 1985: I Feel Love (LP - Age of Consent) Forbidden Fruit (Janice Long show)