Boomtown Rats Return With New Album, Tour: Listen

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Boomtown Rats 2020 (L-R): Simon Crowe, Pete Briquette, Bob Geldof, Garry Roberts

The Boomtown Rats will mark 2020 with the release of Citizens of Boomtown, their first new studio album since 1984, plus a U.K. tour, and a book of lyrics and reminiscences by Rats singer Bob Geldof titled Tales of Boomtown Glory.

The album features 10 new songs from the Irish band and will be released on March 13 on the BMG label. It’s produced by Rats bassist Pete Briquette and will be available on digital platforms, CD and vinyl.

Watch the video for the first single, “Trash Glam Baby,” released on January 17

Geldof explains the genesis of the song. “Back then I’d written a song about the amazons I’d encountered making the scene in the late 1970s: ‘She’s So Modern’ was a hit. [“She’s so 20th century/She’s so 1970s”]. A millennium and 2 decades later down at the S-bend of the KIngs Road, that squiggle that becomes the Worlds End and where those girls would inhabit Lloyd Johnson’s and Vivienne Westwood’s shops, the glam has gone and moved east.

“But Vivienne is still there. Now opposite and beside her shop Sex there are 3 decent charity shops. I go there to check out cool shirts etc. On a Saturday in 2017 there was a glorious kid of around 16/17 talking to her friend behind the counter. She was fabulous. Like a bastard hybrid of The New York Dolls and early Roxy Music. A sequined tramp. A living glitter ball. They were moaning about it being Saturday and nothing to do and no money to do it with. The usual anthem of the bored weekend.

“She didn’t look consciously ‘retro’ or anything, she looked wonderful and beautiful in that damned youth way. She wasn’t beautiful (but she was), a pleasant, normal girl from the blocks down the road, who intuitively understood the theatre of the self, which that peculiar part of the world has always engendered since….oh since the bohemians of the late 19th century through to the 60s and the Stones, the 70s and The Pistols, the 80s and Durans/Anthony Price shop and then – like the rest of the 90s – not much. But here she was again, doing that unique thing English teens uniquely do, a grumpy, normal English teenager being extraordinary, looking the bollox. She should be a song. Here she is. She’s so 21st century….”

In the 1970s and ’80s, the Boomtown Rats enjoyed five Top 5 U.K. hits including a pair of #1s: “Rat Trap” and “I Don’t Like Mondays.” Three consecutive albums also reached the U.K. Top 10. Their final concert during that era of the band’s history took place in 1986. In 1984, Geldof co-founded Band Aid to raise money for Ethiopian relief. The subsequent holiday single,  “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” was an enormous worldwide hit.

In 1985, those efforts led to the Live Aid concerts, which Geldof again co-founded. His leadership efforts were ultimately acknowledged by his appointment as an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Related: When Live Aid rocked the planet

The Boomtown Rats in 1981 (from Wikipedia)

Tales of Boomtown Glory, also available March 13, from Faber Music, is a collection of the complete lyrics from the Boomtown Rats and seven Geldof solo albums, accompanied by an introduction and 28 song stories written by Geldof, with exclusive scans from his notebooks over the years. According to a press release, “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.”

Related: How a promotional stunt helped launch the Boomtown Rats in America

Also slated for release early next year is a documentary film by Billy McGrath, a long-time confidant of Geldof and the band, which will tell their story through a mix of interviews and previously unseen personal archives from their inception in Dun Laoghaire, through their role in the punk wars, the hits, the drama, Live Aid, up to the present day.

The Boomtown Rats are Bob Geldof on vocals, Pete Briquette on bass, Simon Crowe on drums and Garry Roberts on guitar.

Citizens of Boomtown Track Listing

Trash Glam Baby
Sweet Thing
Monster Monkeys
She Said No
Passing Through
Here’s A Postcard
K.I.S.S.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Yé Yé
Get A Grip
The Boomtown Rats

Boomtown Rats 2020 Tour Dates (Tickets are available here)

Mar 14 – Zagreb, Croatia – Hala
Mar 26 – Brighton – The Dome
Mar 27 – Cheltenham – Town Hall
Apr 04 – Glasgow – The Old Fruitmarket
Apr 15 – Birmingham – Birmingham Town Hall
Apr 17 – Liverpool – Grand Central Hall
Apr 18 – Cardiff – The Great Hall
Apr 24 – Cambridge – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Apr 25 – York – York Barbican
Apr 29 – Manchester – The Ritz
May 01 – London – The Palladium
May 02 – Newcastle – The Sage, Gateshead
Oct 30 – Kobenhavn, Denmark – Docken
Oct 31 – Viborg, Denmark – Tinghallen

Watch the video for “I Don’t Like Mondays”

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