Bronski Beat is no longer: ‘Smalltown Boy’ Steve Bronski passed away

todayDecember 9, 2021


The pop group Bronski Beat has lost its co-founder Steve Bronski. He has passed away at the age of 61. Singer Jimmy Sommerville: “Sad to hear. He was a talented and very musical man. Working with him on so many songs, and the song that changed our lives, was tremendous fun.”

The group became known in the early 1980s with the synthpop hits Smalltown Boy, Why? and a cover of Donna Summer’s song I Feel Love. Bronski Beat’s debut song Smalltown Boy is about a young gay man who switches the narrow-mindedness of a small town for the freedom of the big city.

In 1984, Bronski told the music magazine Melody Maker about his frustration that his family would not acknowledge his sexual orientation. The video for Smalltown Boy capitalizes on this. At the time, band members were openly coming out about being gay.

A record deal for Bronski beat after just 9 performances

Steve Bronski was born in Glasgow as Steve Forrest. He met Jimmy Sommerville and musician Larry Steinbachek, who soon rented a three-room flat in Brixton as a trio. From there, they began performing.

After only 9 live performances, the group was offered a record deal. London Records had faith in them, and rightly so. The public went berserk with Bronski Beat’s first 6 songs.

“The audience was so enthusiastic, I knew there was more in store. For that matter, I knew right away when I first heard Jimmy sing that the band was going to do well,” Steve explained.

New life since 2016

About six years ago, the band restarted, initiated by Steve Bronski. They recorded new material with Ian Donaldson, one of the singers from the 90s. A year later, the band ceased to exist. Larry Steinbachek passed away at that time.

Back to the 80s

Want to hear the Bronski Beat on a regular basis? Listen now to Your Power Pop & Rock Hits at 80s ALIVE. We play Bronski Beat many times a week. Off course we play all the BIG 80s music you want to hear. So check out our livestream.

Lyrics: Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy

Written by: Jeremy