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 tickets@boomtownrats.co.uk