Sir Bob and The Rats wow Birmingham

His wild mop of hair is now several shades of grey, but Bob Geldof proved that he is still a great performer as the re-formed Boomtown Rats returned in triumph to Birmingham.

Sir Bob was in fine vocal form as he strutted across the stage of the packed O2 Academy last night.

Wearing a fake snake skin suit from the Irish band’s first time around,which he claims led to the band getting back together, the 62-year-old singer looked just as lean and full of energy as he did in the 70s.

The Rats, who also feature original members Garry Roberts on guitar, bass player Pete Briquette and drummer Simon Crowe, opened in blistering style with I Never Loved Eva Braun followed by the classic single Like Clockwork.

The 62-year-old Sir Bob delighted fans with his energetic Jaggeresque antics as the Irish band romped through a set filled with their classic singles of the 70s and 80s. There was plenty of banter from Sir Bob who mocked the Brummies’ fashion sense, accusing them of wearing black T-shirts and flares.

I Don’t Like Mondays provoked a rash of smartphones held aloft to capture the performance and the band’s other number one Rat Trap was a highlight of the night.

Sir Bob, who was clearly enjoying the show and the response from the audience, explained how the band got banned from playing in their home country and how that led to the writing of Banana Republic, which was another stand out of the set.

The smiles on the faces of audience members young and old from start to finish showed how much the show was  enjoyed and the veteran fans knew exactly when to clap along as the band delivered cracking versions of favourites including Mary of the Fourth Form, She’s So Modern and Looking After No 1.

Video footage projected behind the group through the show provided a constant reminder of how the band looked in their younger days. 

They might all be greyer but the musicianship was undimmed with guitarist Roberts in outstanding form. The Rats returned for two encores including Diamond Smiles and finally new song The Boomtown Rats.   

John Corser

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