Festivals, Reunions — January 28, 2013 at 9:45 am

Bob Geldof reforms The Boomtown Rats for first time since 1986 for Isle of Wight Festival

Rock ‘n’ roll do-gooder Bob Geldof will rejoin The Boomtown Rats for the first time since the band split in 1986 to play the U.K.’s Isle of Wight Festival this summer, saying in a statement on the fest’s website, “We were an amazing band and I just feel it’s the right time to re-Rat, to go back to Boomtown for a visit.”

Of the Rats’ June 16 appearance, promoter John Giddings says: “It’s great they have chosen the Isle of Wight Festival as their reunion. Our audience will love them, their catalogue is classic.”

As for Geldof’s full statement:

“Playing again with The Rats and doing those great songs again will be exciting afresh. We were an amazing band and I just feel it’s the right time to re-Rat, to go back to Boomtown for a visit. Also, I’ve always fancied playing the Isle of Wight Festival ever since I hitched there in the good/bad days when I was a kid. I saw The Who, Doors (I think) Hendrix and Leonard Cohen, who incidentally blew Hendrix off the stage, and Kris Kristofferson, who was also amazing – God, so many cool bands. I also told several very boring frog anarchist types to go and fuck themselves and then stayed for a night in Hawkwind’s tent. That’s pretty IOW. Maybe Hawkwind are playing again this year. Maybe I could use the tent again. It will be a privilege to be on that stage especially with a killer band like The Boomtown Rats.”

The Boomtown Rats, between their formation in 1977 and that ’86 split, scored a number of U.K. hits, including “Banana Republic,” “Like Clockwork,” “Lookin’ After No. 1” and chart-toppers “Rat Trap” and “I Don’t Like Mondays,” the latter of which remains their only well-known song in the U.S.

It’s not known whether the festival appearance will spark further reunion activity.





  1. Loved them way back when. A Tonic For The Troops is an all time classic. That said, do they need to do this? They’d become pretty dull at the end. I feel that the press and much of the public will tear St. Bob and crew to shreds.

  2. This is such a repeating theme on this website–old band reforms, goes on tour–old fabs whine, Oh, now they’ve ruined their (cough) legacy. Please. I’m not privy to the Rats’ bank accounts so I don’t know if the NEED to WORK. But, Jim (et al), if it bugs you, don’t go, don’t listen. We need to come up with a name for this syndrome–New Orderism? Not good, but they really seem to rile people.

  3. I usually like reformations, but this band, at the end, was not very good. The 1st 3 lps are wonderful. After that, not so. I’m all for cash grabs, but Bob (at least) is a very wealthy guy.

  4. I saw Bob come with his band, including boomtowner pete briquette, when he last toured the states. It was for the sex, age and death album, so this was 10 years ago. He played much of his new album and a good number of Rats songs. He and his band were SO good. Definitely not a pointless rehash. My guess is that this will be good, too.

    • Paul – I saw them in NY during that tour. They were fantastic! Only about 400 people but they played as hard as they could for 2 1/2 hours. It was a night I will never forget.

  5. Paul, I too saw that Bob Geldof tour. It was at the Fillmore in SF, and it was horribly undersold. I got 10 or more of my friends in cause they were giving away tix right and left. but the show was FANTASTIC!

    • Yes. Tragically undersold. Granted, I would watch him eat sushi, but I also know a good or bad show, even from one of my favorite artists, and this was one of the best. He made a reference to the low turnout, and this was in LA. I felt embarrassed for our state! Good to here from you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *