Current listening: Bronski Beat “It ain’t necessarily so”

Scene: Late autumn evening 1984. Roads and streets of small Staffordshire town. Walking home from rehearsals of school pantomime in the dark at 6pm. Crossing the M6 motorway and watching the streaming lights of the cars.  Accompanied by cheap version of Sony Walkman  with permanently installed C90 cassette. Prince “Purple Rain” on one side, Bronski Beat “The Age of Consent” on the other.

Consequently “The Age of Consent” has always been an autumnal album for me, like a soundtrack to a walk in the city streets at night, possibly between pub and nightclub, senses heightened with alcohol and a sense of anticipation (although the town I was resident in at this time was far from a city).

I have been watching the video of this on you tube and can’t actually recall seeing it at the time.  The plot is basically: Bronski Beat are all in prison. Various meaningful looks are cast. Life is hard, as indicated by the strict exercise regime. Then it’s teatime. Afterwards,  evening service with the prison chaplain. Cue mince pie eating competition between Jimmy Somerville and some other bloke.  Barking. Please let me know if I have missed something obvious. But barking in a lovely homespun eighties way. Spot the eighties fashions. Spot the minimal video budget.

And the song itself is a lovely slow jazzy version of the George and Ira Gershwin song with a clarinet prominently featured which for me is the main source of the atmosphere created by the song.  The song’s lyrics “the things that you’re liable to read in the bible, it ain’t necessarily so” take on a whole new meaning when viewed in conjunction with the group’s upfront gay politics. Well ahead of their time were Bronski Beat.

It’s still a song I like to listen to at this time of the year. 

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One Response to “Current listening: Bronski Beat “It ain’t necessarily so””

  1. Adem Says:

    pies! and a lot of them. that’s all I have to say.

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