New wave legends The Boomtown Rats are getting set to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Rat by releasing their first new album since 1984.
They will mark the occasion with a full UK tour, and singer Bob Geldof is also releasing a new book, entitled Tales Of Boomtown Glory.
Citizens Of Boomtown – their first album since 1984’s In the Long Grass – will be released on BMG on March 13, with the tour kicking off two weeks later.
Formed in Dublin in 1975, The Boomtown Rats became part of the burgeoning punk/new wave scene and went on to make history.
Racking up six era-defining albums, they were the first Irish band to have a UK No. 1 with their hit single Rat Trap, while the follow-up I Don’t Like Mondays went to the top of the charts in 32 countries.
Vocalist Geldof’s motormouth arrogance and disrespect for authority endeared him and his band to every youth who felt weighed down by society’s rules and restrictions.
The Boomtown Rats toured with the Ramones and Talking Heads, becoming part of an exciting new wave of bands which included the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Jam and The Stranglers.
They became one of the biggest bands of the late ’70s/early ’80s with a string of Top 10 hits and platinum-selling albums, earning them Brit Awards and Ivor Novellos.
In 1984, inspired by a TV report on the famine in Ethiopia, Geldof organised the star-studded Band Aid and co-wrote Do They Know It’s Christmas, one of the biggest-selling singles in history. The next year he organised Live Aid.
In 1985 the band took a break and went off to their different lives. Geldof made five solo albums, though with diminishing returns in terms of chart success.
Then in 2013, The Boomtown Rats found themselves drawn together again, with the rage and frustrations that drove their earlier incarnation no less tempered by time or life.
“If anything it was time to hear THAT noise again,” said Geldof, “but I only knew that when I heard this group of individuals re-constitute their specific racket.”
A couple of members chose not to take part in the reunion, so the current line-up is Geldof on vocals, Pete Briquette on bass, Simon Crowe on drums and Garry Roberts on guitar.
Geldof’s still upsetting people; hundeds walked out of the band’s set at Rebellion Punk Festival at Blackpool in 2015 when he berated fans for wearing “a fucking uniform of black T-shirts with shit bands written across the front”. Tongue in cheek or not, who would have him any other way?
The Boomtown Rats play these Citizens of Boomtown UK tour dates: