BOB Geldof’s punk old guard, The Boomtown Rats, are on their way to York Barbican on April 25 2020 on their Citizens Of Boomtown tour.
Tickets go on sale at 11am on Friday (December 13) on 0203 356 5441, at yorkbarbican.co.uk or in person from the Barbican box office.
Next spring’s tour will complement the release of a new album, Citizens Of Boomtown, the Rats’ first studio work since In The Long Grass in May 1984. Full details will be announced “very soon”.
Irishman Geldof, now 68, formed The Boomtown Rats in Dublin in 1975, touring in their early days with The Ramones and Talking Heads en route to achieving BRIT, Ivor Novello and Grammy awards.
Lanky, lippy frontman Geldof, pianist Johnny Fingers and co became the first Irish band to top the UK charts with Rat Trap in 1978 and made number one in 32 countries with I Don’t Like Mondays in 1979.
The Boomtown Rats recorded six albums, The Boomtown Rats in 1977; A Tonic For The Troops in 1978;The Fine Art Of Surfacing, 1979; Mondo Bongo, 1980; V Deep, 1982, and the aforementioned In The Long Grass two years later.
That year, Geldof formed the Band Aid charity supergroup, co-writing the chart-topping single Do They Know It’s Christmas (Feed The World) with Ultravox’s Midge Ure and later organising the Live Aid and Live8 fund-raising concerts in aid of Ethiopian famine relief in 1985 and 2005.
He played solo gigs at the Grand Opera House, York, in November 2002 to promote his Sex, Age & Death album, and at Harrogate Royal Hall in May 2012 after releasing How To Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell in 2011. It didn’t sell, ironically, peaking at number 87 in the British album charts.
His last stage appearance in York should have taken place in a line-up alongside Alan Johnson MP, Nicky Morgan MP and David Dimbleby in June 2016 at Central Hall, University of York. He was to have spoken on behalf of the Remain campaign on the last Question Time before the EU Referendum, but recording of the BBC1 show was cancelled after the death of Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox.
It would have marked the Irish knight, famine relief crusader, dot.com entrepreneur and rock veteran’s return to the Central Hall stage for the first time since 1986. That year Geldof had encouraged the audience to dance at a Boomtown Rats show despite a no-dancing rule in the contract.
“Since that day, only students have been allowed to attend York university gigs,” he recalled in an interview in 2002. “I only invited them to dance! We were a ******* dance band, for Christ’s sake.The student union sued us, but it was sorted out.”
How? “We ignored it! But I better not remind them – though they would have to sue the Rats, not me!”