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137) Boomtown Rats - The Fine Art of Surfacing

Everyone knows Bob Geldof and probably has an opinion of him, and he usually has an opinion on most things and is a love/hate character.

 

I like him as he stood up to Thatcher, did right by Paula Yates daughter and when I first got into this thing called music my grandparents bought me this album for my birthday. I have no idea why, I must have said I liked I Don’t Like Mondays (everyone knows this song and what a piano by Johnnie Fingers) or they bought it with the cards they used to save up through the forty cigarettes they smoked everyday like they bought everything else with, different days.

 

Geldof is not the greatest of singers but he overcomes this with charisma and confidence and Someone’s Looking At You (magic acoustic at the start), Diamond Smiles, Nothing Happened Today and When the Night Comes Wind still sound fresh to me now as when I first played that tape all those years ago but the band can certainly play. They were and are all overshadowed by Geldof but, as his solo career confirmed, he was much less musically without them.

 

All ten tracks have something. Wind Chill Factor (Minus Zero) is far from their punk roots with synth and spoken vocals, interesting if not essential and the Johnnie Fingers written Sleep is a terrific way to end side one.

 

Nice N Neat returns them to punk and Keep It Up and Having My Picture Taken romp along .

 

If you do not like Geldof, plenty do not, don’t let him put you off. An enjoyable listen from a band that were (are) a band and not Bob’s backing band.

 

7/10  

 

GIVE IT A STREAM: Someone’s Looking At You

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