Monday, November 24, 2014

Festival Dates 2015

Friday 22nd May 2015 - Karlstad Sweden
Wednesday 27th May 2015 Munich, Germany (CANCELLED)
Thursday 28th May 2015   Swiss Festival Winterthur, Switzerland
Friday 29th May 2015 - Wiesbaden, Germany
Saturday 30th May 2015 - Cologne, Germany (CANCELLED)
Friday 5th June 2015 Kivenlahti Rock Festival, Helsinki, Finland 
Sunday 7th June 2015  Let's Rock Bristol, Ashton Court, Bristol, UK
Thursday 18th June 2015 Live Earth, Paris, France  (CANCELLED)
Sunday 21st June 2015  Lublin Festival, Poland
Sunday 19th July 2015 Latitude, Suffolk, UK
Friday 31st July 2015 Carfest North, Oulton Park, Cheshire , UK
Monday 3rd August 2015 Friedberg, Germany
Saturday 8th August 2015 Rebellion Festival, Blackpool, UK
Sunday 9th August 2015 Rewind North, Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire, UK
Friday 14th August 2015 Kartfestivalen, Norway
Friday 28th August 2015 Carfest South, Laverstoke Park Farm Hampshire, UK
Saturday 29th August 2015 Watchet, Somerset, UK
Sunday 6th September 2015, Electric Picnic, Laois, Ireland
Sunday 13th September 2015, Reload, Norwich, UK

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rats return to Maida Vale

Tonight, of all nights, The Boomtown Rats were the featured artists on BBC Radio 4s Mastertapes, the series which looks back at a key album from an artist's career.

This recording of the programme took place at the BBCs Maida Vale studios where the band recorded their Peel sessions back in the late 1970s.

I arrived at about 4.30pm with no one waiting outside the studio.  So I headed to the local and was quite well oiled when three of us headed to the venue at about 6.15pm, a whole quarter of an hour before the doors were due to open only to be told it was full and no one else was getting in!

We were late because we were sent emails saying "You and those on your ticket will be given priority entrance to the event." so saw no need to get there that early.

I was a bit hacked off at that point thinking I had made a massive mistake considering I could have queued for a couple of hours, but then someone confirmed we had questions and were to be admitted, so we were taken down into the bowels of the studio where we waited outside the studio door to be let in.   No queuing for us!

We politely let the others with questions in ahead of us.  They all filed into the second row from the front, and as we were sitting down in the third row, we were told to get up and go and sit in the front row!

Turned out these were pretty much the best seats in the house, as the way the stage was set up John Wilson who was doing the interviewing had his back to us, but Geldof whilst side on to much of the audience directly faced us.

The Rats kicked off with the riff from Rat Trap which we were told to applaud enthusiastically, absolutely no issue for me.   They opened with She's So Modern.  I noticed various audience members recording and taking photographs which I didn't believe was permitted,   Anyway as everyone was seated, and there was no one in front of me, I got my iPad out (which I had only taken along to stave off boredom in the queue) and recorded Rat Trap, Like Clockwork, Howard Hughes and Eva Braun.

The interview was captivating. Geldof dominated proceedings, but the other three did chip in from time to time.  There was a lot about Mutt Lange and his input with Pete admitting that Mutt came up with the bass line in Rat Trap and Bob playing the song acoustically to explain what Mutt brought to the song.  I also recorded that bit.  Bob talked about writing Eva Braun and Howard Hughes in the same day. If only he could have more days like that.

I even got my moment in the sun when I asked my question.  I even had to stand up so people could see me in my full Dennis the Menace regalia.   I was a little apprehensive as I was asking if Geldof was the best singer in the Rats.  He said no, and then gave a really interesting answer about how Simon and Mutt Lange provided the harmonies, Garry interjected to say Geldof's presence and performance made him a great front man which I wholeheartedly agree with.

I suspect there will be a fair amount of cutting, Some of Bob's more colourful answers definitely won't be broadcast, because John Wilson repeated a couple of questions saying that his first answer wouldn't be going out on Radio 4 at three in the afternoon!

The show ended at 9pm, which left two hours of further drinking time with friends, where we looked back at my footage and talked music until closing time.

It was an absolutely superb evening on a par with getting to play at Highbury and meeting Charlie George before they dug up the pitch.  Truly a once in a lifetime money can't buy experience, well except for those good people who bid £550 to win the eBay/Children in Need auction. The best night out this decade!

The show will be broadcast on Radio 4 in two parts on the 1st and 2nd December 2014.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Friday 7th November 2014 - LONDON Kentish Town Forum

As Kentish Town is a quick jaunt around the overground, this was a nice easy trip.  Met up with some old (and young as it happened) fellow Rat fans at the local, prior to heading in and getting a prime viewing spot two or three from the front, just in time to see Republica who were great support and played this superb set
  • From Rush Hour With Love 
  • Out Of The Darkness 
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous 
  • Try Everything 
  • German Accent 
  • Hallelujah 
  • Christiana Obey 
  • Ready To Go 
Not wishing to leave my vantage point, I didn't worry about heading to the bar as the crowd grew ever denser around me.  At about 9pm, The Rats came onstage and played
  • (I Never Loved) Eva Braun 
  • Like Clockwork
  • Neon Heart 
  • (She's Gonna) Do You In 
  • Someone's Looking at You 
  • Banana Republic 
  • She's So Modern 
  • I Don't Like Mondays 
  • Close As You'll Ever Be 
  • Mary of the 4th Form / I Wanna Be Your Man /Boom Boom 
  • Looking After No. 1 
  • Rat Trap 


  • Me and Howard Hughes 
  • Diamond Smiles 
  • The Boomtown Rats 

Aaron Liddard joined the band playing sax on Rat Trap and The Boomtown Rats.

There was a very lively crowd, self included, at the front. Place was absolutely buzzing at the end of Rat Trap with the whole of the circle stood applauding.

Headed to the bar for Diamond Smiles, and saw the the rest of the Forum was very crowded.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Monday 3rd November 2014 - CAMBRIDGE Junction

Support: Republica

My second annual pilgrimage to Cambridge to see the Rats in a smaller venue than those I would normally see them in London. A slow train journey allowed me to consume the best part of a nice bottle of rjoca, however it did mean I missed Republica and ended up a little away from the stage, however, The Junction is pretty compact, so even if you had your back to the wall, you'd still be as close as you could ever get to the stage at The O2 or a festival.

The Rats had a new swanky video to replace the projections of the last tour, even if the visuals are more or less identical, except a montage of them playing at festivals when introduced by Geldof during the encore of Diamond Smiles.  Also a new twist on the snakeskin suit story which was welcomed by those who had undoubtedly seen the Rats last year at the nearby Corn Exchange.

The set was the standard that had preceded it on the tour to date, which meant no Joey (boo) but a welcome return for Howard Hughes (hurray).   It was the show that met expectations, in front of a quite subdued audience bar the odd pocket of excitement. Nevertheless, good to see the Rats at a venue where you can see the reds of their eyes and get involved.