A SINGLES ALBUM BY BOB GELDOF-FRONTED THE BOOMTOWN RATS HAS JUST BEEN RELEASED – NO SURPRISE IN ITSELF, AS COMPILATIONS OF THE IRISH NEW WAVE BAND’S MANY HITS HAVE BEEN ISSUED TWICE BEFORE.
But, this time, the Rats’ career-spanning release features two new songs, and the band is back together to play a string of dates (see below) after 27 years apart.
On this edition of The Mouthcast, bassist Pete Briquette talks about the surprise reunion – which, according to Geldof, happened because some of the songs are relevant again in the current social climate, and because they were each curious about what the quarter-century off had done to the others. Briquette discusses what it felt like the first time the band reconvened at Geldof’s house to play together, and reveals tentative plans for a new full studio album.
He also gives an insight into The Boomtown Rats’ two enduring 1979 chart-topping singles (RAT TRAP and I DON’T LIKE MONDAYS), and reflects on why the band’s Woody Guthrie-inspired name held a resonance for them as “a gang of outsiders” in Dublin – something which they also felt during the years they were lumped in with London’s punk scene. The Boomtown Rats’ underrated final album, 1985’s IN THE LONG GRASS – which spawned four should-have-been-a-hit singles; DRAG ME DOWN (performed as one of three songs at Wembley during Live Aid); TONIGHT; A HOLD OF ME; and DAVE (which The Who’s Pete Townshend picked out as his “best single of 1984”) – also comes up for discussion, as does Briquette’s work with Bob Geldof as a solo artist during the last two decades, particularly 1990’s exhilarating Irish / Cajun album THE VEGETARIANS OF LOVE…