Bob Geldof reforms Boomtown Rats for Isle of Wight gig

Jan 29, 2013

'Pointless comeback' or 'amazing reunion'? Return of The Boomtown Rats divides music fans

BOB GELDOF’S original band The Boomtown Rats have announced they will perform together for the first time in 26 years on the main stage at the Isle of Wight Festival in June.

The reunion was announced yesterday, giving critics of the veteran New Wave band a golden opportunity to tweet messages such as, "Now I know why I don’t like Mondays". I Don’t Like Mondays was one of two UK No. 1 hits the band scored in the late 1970s, the other being Rat Trap.

The six-member band formed in Ireland, moved to London in 1976 and released a string of albums before calling it a day in 1986 when Geldof embarked on a solo career.

In a message posted on the IOW Festival website Geldof said the band was reforming because it "feels like it's the right time to re-Rat, to go back to Boomtown for a visit". He added that he’d always "fancied" playing the festival since he hitch-hiked there "as a kid" and saw seminal 1960s acts including Jimi Hendrix, Leonard Cohen, The Who and The Doors.

The band's official website says the reformed band will feature Geldof, bassplayer Pete Briquette, drummer Simon Crowe and lead guitarist Garry Roberts. There is no mention of the group’s keyboard player Johnny Fingers – who famously wore his pyjamas on stage - or second guitarist Gerry Cott.

The Boomtown Rats will share the IOW bill with another recently reformed band, The Stone Roses, as well as The Killers, Bon Jovi, Paul Weller, Bloc Party and The Script.

The band’s website claims there has been an "amazing reaction" from fans and media to news of the reunion. But not everyone is thrilled by the return of yet another vintage British band. The reunion was called "the most pointless and uncalled-for comeback in musical history", by one user of Twitter. Another tweeted: "Leave it Geldof. You only had one song and that was a boring one".

And while 61-year-old Geldof is hardly the oldest musician to pick up his guitar and attempt a late-career renaissance, one cynic said that if the Rats and the Rolling Stones went on tour at the same time "there could be a worldwide shortage of [the supplement] Omega-3".

The famously belligerent Geldof is unlikely to be dissuaded by such comments. He says it will be a "privilege" to be on the IOW Festival stage, especially in front of a "killer band like The Boomtown Rats".

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Any chance of the return ferry sinking?