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Take Rat, And Party

Stuart Bailie | 17:08 UK time, Monday, 28 January 2013

Blimey, it's The Boomtown Rats. Reformed and preparing to play the Isle Of White Festival this summer. Bob Geldof, Pete Briquette, Johnny Fingers and the other fellas whose names I can't recall. It's a rat trap, baby, and their first live performance since 1986.

I was there when the Rats played their final show. It was the Self Aid concert at the RDS stadium in Dublin. Geldof wore a grey sweatshirt and looked weary. The band played after a turgid fashion - essentially a rhythm and blues combo that had chanced it into the punk caper and even got some further mileage out of being a grimacing pop act. Not too many great songs, but there are days when I'll tolerate 'Looking After Number One' and 'Joey's On The Street Again'.

I've met Bob a few times and he was top company. He laughs a fair bit, he's a raconteur with many ripping stories and he doesn't have pretensions about being a self-made millionaire. He misses the rock and roll years and is seemingly hurt that The Rats are not considered to be part of the panetheon of punk. And you know, I think he would trade much of his wealth to be in that position again, bleating out 'Banana Republic', moving like Jagger and working that rubbery visage. No harm in it, surely.

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