The Boomtown Rats will mark 2020 (The Year Of The Rat) with the release of ‘Citizens Of Boomtown’, their first new studio album since 1984, plus a UK tour, and a book of lyrics and reminiscence by Rats singer Bob Geldof entitled ‘Tales Of Boomtown Glory’.
The Boomtown Rats’ first new studio album for 36 years, ‘Citizens Of Boomtown’ features 10 glorious new Boomtown Rats songs and will be released on March 13th 2020 on the BMG label. Produced by Rats bassist Pete Briquette, it will be available on digital platforms, CD and vinyl. The first single ‘Trash Glam Baby’, a beautifully sleazy rocker, will be released on 10th January 2020.
The full tracklisting of the album is:
1. ‘Trash Glam, Baby’
2. ‘Sweet Thing’
3. ‘Monster Monkeys’
4. ‘She Said No’
5. ‘Passing Through’
6. ‘Here’s A Postcard’
8. ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Yé Yé’
9. ‘Get A Grip’
10. ‘The Boomtown Rats’
The Boomtown Rats – Bob Geldof on vocals, Pete Briquette on bass, Simon Crowe on drums and Garry Roberts on guitar – will tour the UK in 2020.
The full list of shows are:
26 BRIGHTON The Dome 27 CHELTENHAM Town Hall
4 GLASGOW Old Fruit Market
15 BIRMINGHAM Town Hall
17 LIVERPOOL Grand Central Hall
18 CARDIFF The Great Hall
24 CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange
25 YORK Barbican
29 MANCHESTER The Ritz
1 LONDON The Palladium
2 NEWCASTLE The Sage, Gateshead
Tickets go on general sale this Friday at 11am, but to access the special pre sale simply visit HERE.
On the same day as the album release (13th March 2020), Faber Music will publish a new book by Bob Geldof. ‘Tales of Boomtown Glory’ is a collection of the complete lyrics from Geldof’s Boomtown Rats and 7 solo albums, accompanied by an introduction and 28 song stories written by Geldof, with exclusive scans from his notebooks over the years. The stories provide a witty and honest account of the background, inspiration and context of the songs. Lyrics to the 189 songs include previously unreleased material as well as the new songs on ‘Citizens Of Boomtown’.
Also slated for a release early next year is a documentary film by Billy McGrath, a long term confidant of Bob and the band which will tell their extraordinary story through a mix of interviews and previously unseen personal archive – from their inception in Dun Laoghaire, through their role in the punk wars, the hits, the drama, Live Aid, and right up to the present day.
Formed in 1975 in Dublin The Boomtown Rats became part of the burgeoning punk scene. Singer Bob Geldof’s defiant motormouth arrogance and flagrant disrespect for authority endeared him and his band to every youth who felt weighed down by the heavy handed blandishments of church and state. In the UK The Boomtown Rats first toured with the Ramones and Talking Heads, rocking and mocking the status quo alongside the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Jam and The Stranglers. They became one of the biggest bands of the late 70s/80s with a string of top ten hits and platinum albums, earning them Brit Awards and Ivor Novellos. Making history as the first Irish band to have a UK no 1 hit with ‘Rat Trap’, they went on to top the charts in 32 Countries with ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ and racked up 6 era-defining albums: ‘The Boomtown Rats’ (’77), ‘A Tonic For The Troops’ (’78), ‘The Fine Art Of Surfacing’ (’79), ‘Mondo Bongo’ (’80), ‘V Deep’ (’82) and ‘In The Long Grass’ (’84). In 1984, inspired by a TV report on the famine in Ethiopia, Bob Geldof organized 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.
When The Boomtown Rats took a break after 6 albums and countless singles it seemed the right time. They went off to their different lives. Bob Geldof made 7 solo albums. Then something pulled them back into each other’s orbit. It felt unforced, entirely natural and the rage and frustrations that drove the earlier incarnation of the band was no less tempered by time or life.
“Indeed if anything”, says Geldof “it was time to hear THAT noise again. But I only knew that when I heard this group of individuals re-constitute their specific racket”.
Were they not afraid of a sort of cosy or complacent nostalgia smothering the original vitality of the music? “Had that happened I’d have instantly knocked it on the head, but when we played “Someone’s Looking At You’ I found I was singing now about the dangerous corporate surveillance of Facebook, Apple, Google, ever-on “smart’ sh*t whose product is ‘You’. When we do ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ I’m thinking of last week’s mass killing. When it’s ‘Banana Republic’, it is now the death of the American Republic. When it’s ‘Rat Trap’, that abattoir I worked in and where I wrote the song, now still serves as a physical metaphor, not just for the death of the animals there, but the hopelessness of the human lives that worked there. It still works for that same reason. There is no nostalgia here. None.”
So why a new record? “Because that’s what bands do. They make records. Songwriters write songs. There’s so much to respond to in this new and different febrile atmosphere that we live in. People forget we took our name from Woody Guthrie, the great musical activist. I think The Boomtown Rats have always shown that rock’n’roll is a form of musical activism. The music has intent and purpose even if that is just the sound, about boy/girl, nothing particularly at all, everything in general, or pointed polemical … whatever.”
Does the world need another Boomtown Rats record? “I couldn’t give a sh*te”, says Geldof, “we do, and that’s enough’.
So here it is. “I love this record”, he says. “It just feels absolutely right!”
And at a time when not very much at all feels right maybe this is precisely what’s needed.
Welcome back The Rats!!
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