Farewell to Steve Bronski: the co-founder and keyboardist of Bronski Beat dies at 61

Day of mourning for British pop. Steve Bronski, co-founder and keyboardist of the British pop group Bronski Beat, one of the most popular in the 80s, died at the age of 61. Bronski, from Glasgow, was actually called Steve Forrest and he started the band in 1983 with singer Jimmy Somerville and fellow musician Larry Steinbachek. It was just right Sommerville, the only survivor of the original group, to communicate the news of the death on social media: “Sad to hear that Steve is dead. He was a talented and very melodic man. Working with him on the songs and the one song that changed our lives and touched so many other lives, it was a fun and exciting moment “, wrote the singer.

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The synth pop trio of Bronski Beat had established itself in the 80s, thanks to the lyrics of their songs with a strong connotation linked to the gay world and its claims, especially in the debut album, ‘The Age of Consent’ (‘L age of consent, which in Great Britain at the time was higher for homosexual relations than it was for heterosexual ones). “At the time we were just three gay guys who had started a band, we didn’t feel part of any particular movement,” Bronski told The Guardian in 2018. “Of course, many years later it would have emerged that there were more gay artists than how much the public was led to believe. ” Formed in 1983, their recording debut took place the following year with the single ‘Smalltown Boy’ (the story of a boy who abandons his family and provincial town because homosexual) which reached the third place in the sales charts of the United Kingdom and gives the band immediate popularity even internationally.

The video that accompanied him saw Jimmy Somerville himself in the role of the protagonist who, in the sequences shot, left the village by train, and on the journey retraced the motivation for the gesture: the aggression by a group of homophobic boys, the return from part of the police to his family in a context in which, instead of the victim’s part, it covered that of the guilty party. The song made the trio a point of reference for the gay issue in the UK (all three members of the band are homosexuals) and even the next single, ‘Why?’, The band addressed the issues of anti-homosexual prejudice, this time using a more energetic electronic formula. This single also entered the top ten.

In 1985 they released their album made with Marc Almond, a version of Donna Summer’s classic ‘I Feel Lovè, which reached the third position in the English charts, equaling the success of’ Smalltown boy ‘. But soon after Somerville left the group and, together with Richard Coles, founded the Communards, with which he returned to the top of the charts in 1986 with a version of ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’. The remaining Bronski Beat replaced Somerville in the lead role with John Foster, with a more serious and less provocative voice, but still managed to bring to the charts the single ‘Hit That Perfect Beat’, with a light and captivating rhythm, taken from the album ‘Truthdare Doubledarè, which was the last production of the band before its dissolution. Before Steve Bronski, Larry Steinbachek died on December 16, 2016, who died after a short fight against cancer at the age of 56.

Last updated: Thursday 9 December 2021, 4:50 pm


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Farewell to Steve Bronski: the co-founder and keyboardist of Bronski Beat dies at 61