In 1984 Bronski Beat took a personal, heartfelt story and created Smalltown Boy which became a worldwide smash.

From its striking keyboard opening, and singer Jimmy Somerville’s imploring counter tenor refrain of “Cry, boy, cry”, Smalltown Boy has become an enduring anthem for LGBTQI+ communities and a clarion call of hope for marginalised groups.

Special Track

Forty years on, Smalltown Boy’s inspiration and advocacy has been passed on to London-based DJ and producer ABSOLUTE. (Ant McGinley). Fresh from recent reworks for the likes of Kylie Minogue (Padam Padam) and Fever Ray (Shiver), Ant said: “When I got asked to rework Smalltown Boy I was literally just screaming. When I started work on it, it was such an emotional experience. I was welling up while I was making it which is so rare to happen for me, this made me know just how much of a special track this was.”

To celebrate, London Records will be re-issuing Smalltown Boy in several physical formats. It will be available on numbered, coloured 7″, transparent CD single, and a music box edition. There will also be a new range of Smalltown Boy T-Shirts.

Enhancing the original with flourishes of arpeggiated synths and 808s, the rework builds towards a euphoric crescendo.

McGinley continues: “I was envisaging playing the track as my closing number in the main room at Drumsheds for False Idols, as well as DJing at Panorama Bar at 10am on a Sunday morning, with the sun coming up through the shutters and having a moment of pure, euphoric joy.”

Watch the new rework by ABSOLUTE. below:

Capturing A Moment In Time

“ABSOLUTE. has kept a strong essence of the period and the song,” says Jimmy Somerville. “I was transported back to our first times writing (banging on a Pro One and a Moog) and me realising I never had to walk around vocally imitating a sequence ever again!”

The song currently stands at over 500 million streams, including over 100 million views of its iconic, unforgettable music video.

Released on 26 July, fans can pre-order Smalltown Boy  from the Official Bronski Beat store here

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