After a stint in the acoustic trio Café Society, culminating in a 1975 album produced by Ray Davies, Tom founded his own group TRB (Tom Robinson Band) with the late Danny Kustow in 1976. The group were early supporters of Rock Against Racism and the following year their debut single 2-4-6-8 Motorway became one of the landmark singles of the UK punk era.
Mild notoriety followed in 1978 when Radio 1 banned Tom’s follow-up anthem “Glad To Be Gay” and subsequent hits included Up Against The Wall and TRB’s debut album Power In The Darkness which went gold in the UK and Japan.
His third band Sector 27 was produced by Steve Lillywhite and and went on to play Madison Square Garden in 1981, opening for The Police. After the group’s management went bankrupt, Tom fled to Hamburg to avoid going the same way, and then became first UK musician ever to tour East Germany, backed by local musicians.
Tom returned to chart success as a solo artist in 1983 with War Baby and Atmospherics: Listen To The Radio; and co-wrote songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John and Dan Hartman. In the 1990s, following a one-man tour of Ireland, he signed to Cooking Vinyl records and released three critically acclaimed solo albums.
As a broadcaster Tom won his first Sony Radio Award in 1997 for his BBC London documentary “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”. Ever since helping launch BBC Radio 6 Music in 2002 (and helping save it from closure in 2010) he has worked fulltime at the station, where he won a second Sony in 2011 and currently presents three shows a week.