Tom Bailey

Science Fiction

(Microcosmos Records)

A long time a-coming, this one – but now Thompson Twins singer Bailey is releasing this set of songs. Seven Top 40 hits in the UK and USA back in the 80s means Tom can tour on those for the duration but can he still connect with the public via these new efforts? Tom recorded these new cuts here there and everywhere as he is a born traveller. Hence many influences can seep through into fresh material and it would be strange if it didn’t. You will still recognise him, though he bears more of a resemblance to Stewart Copeland these days…

Title cut Science Fiction takes off on a Kraftwerky vintage synth motif, with a slow well-keyed vocal slightly flanged. It soon solidifies into a solid band sound with oh-so-Eighties electronic drumming. You almost expect a Duran track to follow on ! The melody is quite effective and likely this can stand repeated play. Hardly a leap forward with the wisdom of time but for some the 80s sound still rules and that’s no crime.

Next up, What Kind Of World retains the electro-pop sound but Latinised, the tune again being very Duran in progression and cadences. Bailey’s voice is a decent listen, no aggravating quirks or whelps or elasticated notes. On to Shooting Star with its spacey intro and more urgent pacing over arpeggio chords and a steady rhythm plus another simple but effective melody and catchy chorus.

Feels Like Love To Me is delicately picked to start with and then has a spacey Howard Jonesy tune. But Tom was in the heart of this era, so who influenced who?

The vocal performance is superior and maybe the best on the collection. Could have used a moody instrumental solo..even an ARP? Blue hints at a jazzier mode but settles into a gently-pulsed effort with an almost conspiratorial vocal delivery. You can’t disguise the Albert King riff in there, matey!

If You Need Someone is a pacier matter with a Caribbean tinge, holiday-on-the-coast vibes but not as corny as heyday Wham, thank Goodness. Maybe the closest to a Thompsons hit of old in ambience. Ship Of Fools takes a sloppy tempo on a slow bumpy tune where Bailey sounds resigned with a melody nodding to McCartney, I reckon. The arrangement has some neat touches with string patch elements. With a horns build this could be a radio hit..whistling and all.

Work All Day tries for a more funky impact and could be a great set-starter, I venture.

Bring Back Yesterday is quaint, measured electro-pop with a treated vocal and slightly eerie feel. Wouldn’t be bad in a film. It’s catchy, if lightweight. Matters conclude with Come So Far and its stealthy percussion intro, tune a steal from Love Is Blue by Paul Mauriat. A dreamy finale and pleasant enough.

There is not a tone riff or phrase on this entire set that you couldn’t have heard circa 1984, however Bailey’s vocal delivery make the whole thing a pleasant listen. Thompson Twins of yore need have no fear, it’ll be like a warm bath to them.

Pete Sargeant


(Thanks Asher and the Republic Media Crew)

Tom Bailey will be joining Culture Club on their UK tour later this year. You can read more about it here:

You can listen to the track 'Feels Like Love To Me' in this article. 

Tom Bailey's debut solo album 'Science Fiction' is released on Friday 13th July 2018 on Microkosmos Records. 

To pre-order the album and for more information visit his official website here:

Tom Bailey