No forgotten sound for Boomtown Rats

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The Boomtown Rats performing at The Assembly, Leamington Spa,

October 28 2014

“On A Night Like This...”

Thirty five years on, almost to the day, having last seen them at the now-defunct Rainbow Theatre in London, I renewed my acquaintance with The

Boomtown Rats, and Bob Geldof in particular, having been rebuked by Bob at the gig all those years ago for not clapping my hands.

“You in the red jumpsuit (oh dear!), clap your hands (plus a couple of swear words)” ...so I did.

Sounds implausible but it happens to be true.

The Rats are half-way round a tour of the UK having re-formed last year. The band members are now, like the writer of this review, well past their youth.

However, that was forgotten as the years were rolled back and we were all angry and angst-ridden young men (and women) again listening to songs like “Rat Trap”, “I Don’t Like Mondays” and “Mary Of The Fourth Form”, each song sounding as fresh and as relevant now as it did then.

Ok, the sound wasn’t sharp but this wasn’t a classical music concert.

Bob had us all in the palm of his hand with his magnetic stage presence.

Between songs he maintained his reputation for loquaciousness, telling some stories and occasionally putting the world to rights in his inimitable way – cue songs like “Banana Republic” and “Someone’s Looking At You”.

Unsurprisingly, with a global superstar coming to Leamington, The Assembly was full and, to revert to cliché-speak, the place was rockin’. The intimacy of the venue surely helped and if The Rats play a better gig on their tour I’d love to be there.

In a nutshell, it was worth the 35-year wait. I don’t think Bob remembered me, though. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t wearing the red jumpsuit this time.

Rating 9.5/10

By Richard Barr