Review The Boomtown Rats at Vicar Street


the-boomtown-rats-vicar-streetThe Boomtown Rats at Vicar Street

October 12th, 2013

See also: photos the Boomtown Rats Vicar Street

The Boomtown Rats made a triumphant return to the Dublin stage tonight in front of a sold out audience of ecstatic (mostly) middle aged men and women…children of the 80s…and what a great nights entertainment it was for those in attendance. The Rats, in their day, had the potential to be as big as, well anybody really. Bob Geldof had songwriting talent in abundance as evidenced  by the classics ‘Rat Trap’ and ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’, songs that stand up against any in the annals of music history. Anyone who has heard their first three albums from the late 70s will bear witness to this. Unfortunately for the Rats, events conspired against them, the songwriting got (by Geldofs own admission) lazy and the band became directionless, falling into the trap of trying to compete with their New Romantic contemporaries of the time and ultimately failing. They have since been consigned to the bargain bins of pop history, with Geldofs other pursuits overshadowing his musical achievements.

But, for all his success in the world of media and the fight against poverty, the one thing you feel that Bob Geldof really craves is success on stage and acknowledgment for his songwriting prowess. In fact it would probably come as a surprise to most people under the age of 40 to be told that Bob Geldof is, in fact, a singer/songwriter of some talent.

As far as the performance goes, Geldof, attired in a snakeskin suit, still has quite a bit of energy in his old bones, and plenty of the gob that he has been famous for, for all these years. The band seem genuinely happy to be back performing live. What’s clear is that it is not about money, this reformation, although it helps no doubt, but what it is about is the fantastic canon of songs that brought us so much joy so long ago. To this writers mind, thats the important part of this reformation. From the opening song, ‘(I never loved) Eva Braun’ to the finale (a new song called ‘The Boomtown Rats’), its a non stop rollercoaster ride of classic 70s nostalgia drawn, almost exclusively, from their first three albums, interspersed with the odd diatribe from Geldof about the state of the ‘Banana Republic’ that we call home. These are songs that deserve to be remembered, not just by middle aged rockers, but by everyone. A thoroughly entertaining night no less. Welcome back, The Boomtown Rats.

Review by Tony Martin


Lucy Ivan

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