Although many of Tom Robinson’s 70s contemporaries such as The Jam, Elvis Costello and Ian Dury have spawned tribute bands, to the best of his knowledge no such act has ever attempted to cover his own back catalogue. Which of those songs, he wondered, would a Tom Robinson tribute band choose to assemble a full-on crowdpleasing set?
There’d have to be the songs co-written with Elton John and Peter Gabriel. Also those unexpected comeback hits of the 1980s such as War Baby and Atmospherics. Not to mention the stone-cold punk-era classics that launched his career: Motorway, Power In The Darkness, Up Against The Wall, Too Good To be True and of course the anthemic Glad To Be Gay.
In 2020 the veteran broadcaster and songwriter will mark 70 years on the planet by embarking on a month-long tour with his incendiary live band playing highlights from his own 45 year career in music. There may not have been a Tom Robinson tribute act until now – but as the chorus of his debut single puts it: “2-4-6-8… ain’t never too late”.