Smalltown boy - Bronski Beat - 80sneverend - From smalltown to success

From a small town to success

Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy

Mother will never understand
Why you had to leave
For the love that you need
Will never be found at home
#SmalltownBoy #JimmySomerville #BronskiBeat

Many bands in the 80s found incredible success and with their first single. Of these, many have also been able to keep up with a good career. Of these, some members have also been able to break away from their groups and continue their growth with other experiences that really confirmed their talent and creativity.

One of the iconic characters of the 80s who lived exactly this story is definitely Jimmy Somerville, whose career began, if you will, in early June 1984, when the first single by Bronski Beat, “Smalltown boy”, entered the British hit parade, and was immediately an incredible success.

In addition to being an irresistible song, the song also contained a very important and courageous message. I don’t know if we can really call it autobiographical, but it certainly touched Bronski Beat’s sensibility.

Their main topic was the defense of gay rights, in an apparently modern nation, but in which the law allowed sexual intercourse at different ages for heterosexuals and homosexuals. From this weirdness Bronski Beat took the title for their album, soon to be released, “The age of consent”.

Jimmy, Steve Bronski, and Larry, the third member of the group who died in 2016, had declared their homosexuality, thus becoming symbols of a protest for rights recognition.

The song “Smalltown boy”, as I said, it’s not really autobiographical, but it is certainly close to the feelings of the three, who grew up in a Glasgow too narrow and perhaps too backward and conformist for their ambitions and their feelings. And the story we see in the video could really be a true or plausible story.

As the train tracks take him away from home, Jimmy retraces a bad story: from a glance in the pool by an ailing swimmer, to a cautious approach rejected with indignation, to being cowardly beaten by the swimmer and his biker friends. And the worst is yet to come, because when the policeman brings Jimmy back to that family he’s trying to escape from, it becomes apparent that for common morality Jimmy goes from victim to responsible, because of his attitude.

And of course it becomes impossible to live any longer in that family and that life, and so Jimmy has to take the train and leave forever, still carrying with him the love of a mother who can not understand him but hugs his son, and the burden of a father who gives some money but refuses to shake his hand.

The real life of Jimmy begins on that train begins, when his teammates join him. And this real life led him not only to a fantastic success with Bronski Beat (we also remember “Why” for example), but also to an important experience with the Communards (with covers like “Don’t leave me this way“, “You are my world“, “Never can say goodbye“) and other solo experiences. Definitely a symbol of the 80s.

Bronski Beat and Jimmy Somerville on Wikipedia

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