... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Never too late

It's time to break out the thirty-year-old t-shirt that's been carefully preserved at the back of the wardrobe:
Souvenir of the 100 Club and the Mean Fiddler, and the Tom Robinson Band's tenth anniversary reunion tour...
Because it's now forty years since the release of 2-4-6-8 Motorway, and Tom is touring again to celebrate.

I don't think I could have imagined in 1987 that I'd be leaving my house in Sheffield, with my younger son - then not even thought of - to go and see a 67-year-old Tom playing the entirety of Power in the Darkness at a venue that had opened seven years previously, but that I wouldn't hear of for nearly another thirty. I could not have imagined that I would look up the venue on the internet, and, that had I needed to, a hand held satnav would guide me to it. When I think of the cumbersome cassette recorder I smuggled into those 1980s gigs (and yes, I still have the tapes, unlistened to but hopefully not ruined), and the big SLR camera (fast film purchased specially) that I sometimes took (not always, as it did get in the way...) - now both superseded by something the size of a fag packet, which also serves as phone, computer, telex machine and TV - it's amazing how much the world has changed.

And yet...  

Freedom... we're talking bout your freedom
Freedom to choose what you do with your body
Freedom to believe what you like
Freedom for brothers to love one another
Freedom for black and white
Freedom from harassment, intimidation
Freedom for the mother and wife
Freedom from Big Brother's interrogation
Freedom to live your own life... I'm talking 'bout

Power in the darkness
Frightening lies from the other side
Power in the darkness
Stand up and fight for your rights


  1. Our local pub had a rather different 100 club, open to the first 100 customers who drank a hundred pints after the club was announced. The first member qualified in less than a fortnight and he did it all on Fullers ESB!! I think the club was full within a month.

  2. Thank you for inspiring me to fire up Spotify and listen to the whole album - it's a few years since I did.

    Incidentally, on the "couldn't have imagined" stakes, if you'd told a teenaged Moomin that in middle age he'd have access to essentially all of recorded music, on demand, anywhere, for less money than his then album-buying habit, he'd have been truly amazed.

    You also reminded me that I have seen Tom Robinson live. Believe it or not, at a Cambridge college May ball. The memory of mid-eighties Cambridge undergrads in Ball gowns and DJs singing along enthusiastically to "Glad to be Gay" seems far more surreal now than it did then.

  3. Awww - saw TR solo at the Mean Fiddler myself - think it was about the time of 'Living in a Boom Time', an acoustic-ish album on Cooking Vinyl. Saw quite a few Cooking Vinyl bands up there, actually. Didn't go often enough, seeing as it was just up Scrubs Lane from work ;-)