Sunday, November 06, 2011

A New Bob

Bob Bradbury from Hello, is the latest singer/bassist to step into the shoes of Geldof and Briquette.

He played with the Rats at The Queens, Bromyard (on 5th November) and at the 70s weekend at The Unity Resort, Brean Sands, Somerset (on 6th November).

It is unknown if this is a permanent change to the line up.

There are some photographs with Bradbury sporting a pair of red trousers ala Geldof circa 1978, though definitely not quite as tight.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Geldof at Cadogan Hall

I suppose if I had to go to a Geldof concert, which I finally did tonight after some half hearted attempts in the distant past, then the least that could happen would be three Rats on stage.

Fortunately, the day before I had nabbed a couple of front row seats right in the middle of the stage.  My only fear was it may be a little too close for comfort. Cadogan Hall is possibly the most pristine venue I have ever watched a rock 'n' roll show at, only seeing Pulp at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane back in 1994 came close.  In my combat trousers, trainer and sweatshirt I feel very underdressed as all the staff were immaculately turned out and incredibly polite, a million miles away from the rude obnoxious security staff you often encounter at gigs.  Even the bouncer who threw one enthusiatic fan off stage was very polite about it!

For the most part, the concert was a lot of Geldof solo material. The best live songs were not just the Rats songs, but some of the songs off the last couple of solo albums which was a bit of a surprise for me.

Of the Sex Age & Death songs,  Mudslide and One for Me sounded far better live and  the awesome Scream in Vain more than lived up to expectations.  Scream in Vain had such a long rambling introduction that I was able to get to a distant bar and bring back a couple of beers as they started to play it. 
Other highlights were the superb Systematic Six Pack and a top notch Here's To You dedicated to his mates in the audience.   The Great Song of Indifference bookended the gig to great effect.  I have to confess that
sat in my comfy front and centre seat with a couple of beers, the remainder of the solo material washed over me, leaving me distracted enough to look around and see the venue was more or less sold out.

Now I was mainly there for the older material which took a little while to come.  I had never heard When The Night Comes live and understandably it did differ from the studio version, particularly the guitar solo.  Johnny Turnbull's electric and Vince Loveday's mandolin (well I think it was a mandolin) made the song sound different, and it's fair to say that Geldof didn't quite hold the melody as well as he could. However it was good to hear this song aired again.  Banana Republic had a long rambling introduction referring to when the Rats played Leixlip and Geldof's damning of the Irish establishment.  This was a really great rendition to the point when the indulgent play off took things down a little.  Next up was I Don't Like Mondays which  sounded like it had passed its sell by date. When people are laughing at the pause when the lesson today is how to die, you sense no one really needs to hear it again.

But the highlight of the evening was close at hand.  Suddenly Gerry Cott appeared on stage.  No one saw him walk on, he simply materialised.  Even Geldof seemed unaware he was stood right behind him as he was introducing him.   They did Mary of The Fourth Form followed by Joey's On The Street Again and then Rat Trap. This was fifteen to twenty minutes of pure magic, which brought the audience to its collective feet and was worth the price of the admission on its own.  Pete Briquette, who cooly ambled around the stage all evening, looked delighted to have his old friend back on stage with him, and the bon homie with Geldof suggested that past differences have been forgotten.

Had Geldof and co left it at that, no one could have complained, but they came out for a couple of encores. They started the encore with the bland Silly Pretty Thing, but great rendidtions of Diamond Smiles, Here's To You and finally The Great Song of Indifference when the whole band came to the front of the stage rounded off the evening superbly.  

When all is said and done it was a good show and I'm really glad I went despite certain reservations on seeing Geldof solo.  For Geldof, with the audience approaching the capacity of 900, this more or less fulfilled his ambition of playing a 2,000 seat venue and been able to walk home and sleep in his own bed.

Geldof should consider getting people standing up to watch him play in a more intimate venue like The 100 Club. Oh and of course, he should get Garrick and Simon to tag along next time and play a few more Rats songs.  Flying Fingers over from Japan may be too much to expect.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Alive and Kicking

Busy time for The Rats and Geldof, though sadly still apart, as they tour Europe

The Rats Tour Dates

Saturday 10th September 2011 Hertals Rock Festival, Netepark. 2200 Herentals. Belgium

Friday 14th October 2011 Tabernacle Junction, Yeovil BA20 1QA.

Friday 4th November 2011 Details Tbc

Saturday 5th November 2011 Booked Details Tbc

Sunday 6th November 2011 Unity Resort Brean Sands 70'S Festival

Saturday 3rd December 2011 Kiel, Germany

Bob Geldof Tour Dates 2011

Sat 4th September 2011 IRELAND, Electric Picnic, Crawdaddy Stage

Wed 14th September 2011 NEWCASTLE, The Sage Theatre

Thu 15th September 2011 SOUTHPORT Theatre

Sun 18th September 2011 CROYDON, Ashcroft Theatre

Tues 20th September 2011 LONDON, Cadogan Hall

Wed 21st September 2011 LINCOLN, Theatre Royal

3rd October 2011 - Liepzig

4th October 2011 - Kaufleuten, CH-Zurich, Switzerland

5th October 2011 - Burgheater, A-Vienna, Austria

7th October 2011 - RBB Sendesaal, Berlin, Germany

8th October 2011 - Alte Feuerwache, Mannheim, Germany

9th October 2011 - Theater am Tanzbrunnen, Koln, Germany

11th October 2011 - Fliegende Bauten, Hamburg, Germany

12th October 2011 - Theater am Aegi, Hanover, Germany

13th October 2011 - Prinzregententheater, Munchen, Germany

15th October 2011 - Franeker / De Koornbeurs ( 750 seated)

16th October 2011 - Amsterdam / melkweg - cancelled by promoter

17th October 2011 - Hoogeveen / De Tamboer (760 seated)  - cancelled by promoter

21st October 2011 - Gothenburg - Teatern

22nd October 2011 - Copenhagen - Studie 2 - DR Byen

23rd October 2011 - Oslo - Sentrum Scene

24th October 2011 - Uppsala -Katalin & All That Jazz

26th October 2011 - Stockholm - Nalen

27th October 2011 - Malmo Sweden Debaser

Wed 16th November 2011 - NUNEATON, Queens Hall

Thu 17th November 2011 - BRADFORD, St. George's Hall

Sat 19th November 2011 - ST ALBANS, Arena

Sun 20th November 2011 - MANCHESTER, The Quays Theatre

Mon 21st November 2011 - CHATHAM, Central Theatre

Friday, September 02, 2011

New Rats vocalist for Wolverhampton gig

Mike Odlum, an old school friend of Roberts and Crowe has joined the new Rats lineup as vocalist and bassist.  At this juncture, it is not clear if this is a permanent change to the line-up.

Friday 2nd  September 2011  The Varsity music venue, Stafford Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1LZ.

If you would like to purchase advance tickets for £7 then please send an email to

Friday, July 08, 2011


This is like the gig from heaven. It's the Rats, it's cheap, and there's fcuking loads of beer! Get in there! Also it is a easy trip on the train for me.  Even my son (showing my age!) fancies it, so we might just camp for the night!


Brentwood Centre, Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood,Essex CM15 9NN

Fri 8th July

1900 - 1945
2000 - 2045 SQUABBLER
2100 - 2145 DOUBLE TROUBLE
2200 - 2330 BOOMTOWN RATS - The Rats will be here performing all of their hits from Rat Trap - Diamond Smiles to the haunting I don't like Mondays.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Madchester! (err maybe not...)

I have been informed this (along with the York date) have been postponed,and is showing as cancelled on the Factory ticket sales site .

No reasons have been given for the cancellation/postponement though it seems a bit premature to have been the result of poor ticket sales which have led to a number of Rats and Geldof concerts to be cancelled in recent years.

Best check with the venue if you have bought tickets and require a refund.

The Rats will be playing FAC251. In homage to the Happy Mondays they won't be playing I Don't Like Mondays! (as if)

Also playing a gig in York the following evening.


Friday 11th March FAC251 (The Factory) 112-118 Princess Street, Manchester M1 7EN

Saturday 12th March Fibbers, 8-10 Stonebow House York, YO1 7NP.

Friday, February 18, 2011

School of Rock

Garrick Roberts is the new Jack Black!  For those about to rock, we salute you!

Garrick demonstrated his unique style of electric guitar playing to over 300 puils at a workshop at a Solihull school. Garrick gave a talk on the history of the blues and spoke about being a member of the Rats, before treating his audience to hits like 'Rat Trap' and 'I Don't Like Mondays'.

Garry said: “I have been fascinated by the electric guitar since I was 12 years old and I believe it to be one of the most beautiful, versatile and expressive instruments.
“I am keen to show the exciting potential of the guitar to young people who are about the age I was when I began playing, as this is the time when they are ready to begin exploring and developing their own creative potential.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gore fest - Systematic Six-Pack Video

Listen to one of the best tracks off the new Geldof album along with the X-rated video!

Making of - Part One

Making of - Part Two

Making of - Part Three

Read All About It!

The gob is back and in full flow. Three press interviews of note that all have something in them that is worth reading even if it's just the outrageous quotes, particularly in the Quietus.

My favourites ...

"Stop talking about The Boomtown Rats because guess what? It was 30 years ago."

What? Never! I suppose it was all a bit half-arsed from 1981, so I'll give him that. But then he goes on and talks about The Rats outselling The Clash and The Jam, before discussing Red Wedge, Dr. Feelgood, The Ramones, Bob Marley and Dylan...

Bit rich from someone who sings I Don't Like Mondays at the drop of a hat to not want to discuss stuff from 30 years ago.

I suppose I better stop writing here. Sigh - what will I do?

"The sum of my ambition is to play a 2000 seat venue in London. If I could do that and sell it out, I'd like that but that's not possible and I know that."

Well no one is stopping him playing a smaller venue, are they?

And maybe if he plays well people might recommend him to their friends next time and he might get a progressively bigger audience.

I suspect that's the way it went with the Boomtown Rats, though best not talk about them - sore point.

"Creatively, Britain is the only place to be in the world."

Ah yes.
There are no artists anywhere else
nor theatre
nor film
nor software companies
nor television drama
nor televison comedy
nor authors
nor music.
I mean, look at what Britain is doing creatively these days it's the home of the X Factor, Britain's Got Talent, Harry Potter and a whole host of wannabes.
Oh bollocks! Get me out of here!

Daily Telegraph
The Guardian
The Quietus

Thursday, February 10, 2011

You Bloom Music Awards - The Cobden Members Club, London Thursday 10th February 2011

This is one of those things where Geldof may or may not play, who knows he might want to give an audience a taster of his new album. Anyway, should you be in London and willing to hang around from 7.30pm you can see what happens for free.

Electro-punk maverick Quilla Constance will perform at You Bloom Music Awards presented by Sir Bob Geldof and A&R genius, Nigel Grainge.

Other acts performing:

Neev Kennedy,
Marina V
Her and The Colours
Renny C
Joseph Dean Osgood
The Guilty Ones

The Cobden Members Club, London Thursday 10th February 2011 from 7:00pm

Price: £7.00 on the door with flyer / £5.00 before 8:30pm / Free before 7:30pm
For tickets or further information, please call the box office on
020 8960 4222

Monday, February 07, 2011


Geldof's fifth effort to match the glory days of the Rats. The working title was 58½, his age - though he's now 59¼.  Apparently he changed the album title after finding this book by Leslie Shepperd on the top of a piano.

Bar the throwaway single, Silly Pretty Thing, which is the only truly awful track on the album, it is something of a minor triumph.  All in all the best Geldof solo album, but not a patch on anything by the Rats.

The highlights are Blowfish with its heavily distorted blues which evokes the spirit of Jimi Hendrix; Systematic Six Pack, which sounds like it should be on the soundtrack of a Tarantino western, the video with Rhys Ifans is a nod and a wink towards it. Here's to You is the most pleasant and pleasing song Geldof has ever written, even if it borrows very heavily from The Beatles. Rounding things off is a hidden track, Young & Sober, that is a throwback to DUN LAOGHARIE and The Great Song of Indifference chronologising the life of Geldof over the last fifty odd years.

Available at all good (and probably bad ones as well) record stores, download sites, and of course Spotify and We7 if you want to have a listen for free.

Track Listing 
1. How I Roll
2. BlowFish
3. Just Get On
3. She's A Lover
4. To Live In Love
5. Silly Pretty Thing
6. Systematic 6-Pack (58½)
7. Dazzled By You
8. Mary says
9. Blow
10. Here's To You  (Hidden track: Young & Sober)

12. The Fields Of Spring
13. Too Late She Cried
14. Baby's Going Down

According to Geldof, thirty one songs were recorded, so there are another twenty that could be released. The album will be released on 15th March 2011 in the USA and launched at SXSW where Geldof will perform and headline as keynote speaker. So it's possible the tracklisting may differ for the US release.
On the album's international release there appear to be four additional tracks, these have been listed here, though struck out until they are confirmed.  These tracks were also part of the original track listing when the album was originally due to be released in mid-2010.  There were snippets of these tracks on the BBC website, but sadly they are no longer there.

Geldof's website has been relauched in the style of a kindle book to coincide with the release. Funnily enough they have restored the link to this blog.  Probably an accident.  I give it a week before I upset them all again and it gets quashed.

There is another track that seems to have missed the cut, though it could have been a working title, or simply the Comic Relief song he did with Stephen Fry and Midge Ure.

Banker's Song

Now all we need is the Rats to release something and everyone, bar Fingers who is too busy having fun in Japan, will have done something in a twelve month period.

Some clips of Geldof performing the songs

  • Here's To You

  • How I Roll

  • Mary Says

  • Dazzled By You

  • Blow

  • Silly Pretty Thing