Do you remember Bronkski Beat, The Communards, Jimmy Somerville and Richard Coles? The Eighties, the sounds, the attitudes and so on?
I certainly do. Remember "Smalltown Boy" being belted out in a 'gay club' in Swansea in the mid-eighties. The place was packed with writhing bodies moving to the music of Bronski Beat.
No, I wasn't part of the joyful crowd. I was a VAT officer making an out of hours visit as part of my inspection of this business.
I certainly liked the music. Jimmy Somerville's falsetto voice and the bouncy disco backing made me a fan of this genre of such music. Bronski became The Communards and the backbone of this band was Jimmy Somerville and Richard Coles, a classically trained pianist of real talent on the keyboards.
The 80s was the time of HIV Aids for which the Gay fraternity were largely blamed. It was a sad time for many when some notable 'stars' disappeared from the music scene because of Aids, Freddie Mercury of 'Queen' being one of the most notable.
The Communards split up. Jimmy Somerville continues as a solo artist but although he has a devoted fan base still he is not the force he once was. He has recently reprised "Smalltown Boy" which can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNhLOfUPHa8
But what about 'the other half' of The Communards - Richard Coles, the gay pianist?
Well, he's still 'gay' but his role is now as a Church of England priest! Quite a transformation, from pop to priesthood. He lives with his gay civil partner, the Rev David Coles and their four dachshunds.
He seems to be a very likeable and HONEST person. He not only moved from the pop world to priesthood but on his journey he was a Roman Catholic for some 10 years but reverted to Anglicanism about a dozen years ago. He is certainly 'one of a kind'. He held an atheist funeral for Marjorie 'Mo' Mowlam, an outspoken MP of the late 1980s and also a Cabinet Minister in the Labour government.
I write all this because I've just seen an excellent programme on BBC1 tv about Richard Coles and found it extremely interesting and entertaining. My one regret was that Jimmy Somerville declined an invitation to take part if this. Still, you can't have everything I guess.