Glad To Be Grey – Shepherds Bush Empire 01/06/2010

By Simon Poole

Tom Robinson will be celebrating his 60th birthday on June 1st with a self-financed gig at Shepherds Bush Empire in London. Here are a few reasons you should join him on this landmark occasion.

Reason 1: Back in 2007 he approached the controller of Radio 2 and 6 Music to pitch the idea of a two hour show that played music that could be found only on the internet, the suggestion was welcomed and his BBC Introducing show was born in October of that year. The idea of only playing music from the net was not necessarily to find the next big thing, but was to just give airplay to interesting and quirky acts that would never get played on any other radio stations.

All the tracks played are recommended by us, the record buying and gig going public. So it is only to be expected that our taste will occasionally throw up certain acts that will eventually make it on to daytime playlists. The very first show was a fine example of this and included ‘The Voluntary Butler Scheme’ and ‘Glasvegas’.

Within six months of the show starting it was obvious that a two hour show once a week was not enough for the amount of good music out there on the internet. This led to the output being doubled to two shows a week.

Even though the shows air in the middle of the night it is not a problem, as with the invention of the BBC iPlayer you can listen to shows in full at your leisure. Also if you find yourself short of time, the very kind Mr. Robinson hand picks an album’s worth from each week and gives us a totally free podcast. So if you ever find yourself in the need of some quality free music, then head over to

Reason 2: He has more passion for new music in his little finger than most of the DJs and presenters on all the other radio stations put together. His enthusiasm is contagious and is showing no signs of waning even though his years on this planet may be increasing.

Reason 3: If for some bizarre case you are still not convinced, then just read on and discover what this amazing gig has in store…….

His band for the night will include punk legend TV SMITH on guitar and multi-award winning composer and producer NITIN SAWHNEY on keyboards. Also Manc soul vocalist LEE GRIFFITHS with his drummer SAM KELLY (ex Circulus), bassist MAX TAYLOR (Groove Armada, Clor, Roots Manuva)  electric guitarist ADAM PHILLIPS (Richard Aschcroft, Just Jack) and sax player TIM SANDERS from The Kick Horns (Eric Clapton, Rufus Wainwright, Baba Maal). And as if all of that isn’t enough for you, then read on…..

BBC 6 Music presenters SHAUN KEAVENY and GIDEON COE will be making their debut public appearance as guest vocalists during the evening, while the whole show will be hosted by STEVE LAMACQ. You still want more? Then have some of this……

Musical guests from today’s generation include fast-rising London trio CHEW LIPS, Tyneside indie stars LITTLE COMETS, Domino recording artist EUGENE McGUINNESS and hotly tipped songwriter COSMO JARVIS who’s also authored a series of stunning short films on YouTube… see the gig homepage at

This will be a great night out featuring some of Tom’s best friends. 6 Music colleagues and favourite new artists – plus some of his own songs from back in the day such as  2-4-6-8 Motorway, War Baby and Glad To Be Gay (listen and vote for favourites at

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