EVENING WITH BOB GELDOF
12th November, 2005
by Cardinal Cox
Dope on Pnuk part 2
Support came from Guy Maile who
played for half an hour, mostly his own compositions. The covers
included the Johnny Cash version of Nine Inch Nails's 'Hurt' and
a flamenco rendition of 'All Along the Watchtower'. Someone I
wouldn't mind seeing again.
Bob and his five-piece band (including Pete
Briquette on bass from The Boomtown Rats) came on to the comment:
"I used to live here, did you know that? Had my first
English shag in this city." Then into the de-diddly-diddly
of 'I Don't Mind' and a couple of other numbers from his solo
recordings. He continued to reminisce about life in Peterborough,
working at Smedley's cannery where they stopped the line for five
minutes when Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon. During
these summers, from the age of fifteen, he boarded in Cromwell
Road with an Italian family. In his autobiography, 'Is That It? (1986)',
he also revealed that he shopped at Harry Fenton's, where both of
my brothers worked at various times.
The old Rats numbers included 'Always Someone
Looking at You', 'Like Clockwork' and 'I Don't Like Mondays'.
Then he took us through how he'd come to create such songs as
'Scream in Vain (the biker chick two rows in front got up to
groove to the Dub of that); 'This is the World Calling'; and a
set of three songs from the album 'Sex, Age & Death',
explaining that these last few were written in the mid-'nineties,
when Paula had left him and his world had fallen apart. So he was
understandably miffed, when near the end of the 'S.A.D.' three,
someone on the farside of the audience was laughing loudly. He
stopped the song and suggested that if they wanted to talk they
should leave. Then he finished off the last verse of his song.
Next we discovered that today was his father's
92nd birthday, who, for his party-piece, loved to recite a poem
by Robert Service about the death of a cowboy. This lead into
Bob's own song of a murder, 'Beat of the Night'.
Then he asked if we had any requests. So he
played 'Banana Republic', explaining about the latest Catholic
Church scandal in Ireland. Then 'Mary of the 4th Form',
unfulfilled romantic ambitions of the younger incarnation of Bob.
Of course, last up it was his first number one, 'Rat Trap'.
For encores they played 'I Cry Too', 'Diamond
Smiles' and a repeat of 'I Don't Mind', which displayed the
talents of the band members.
The Boomtown Rats were really a pub rock band
who got lucky, and who could write numbers that occasionally
reflected the Dublin social scene. However, despite the lack of
"true" punk credentials, it was Geldof who came to
epitomise the saying, "cometh the hour, cometh the man",
with both Band Aid and Live Aid. In response to Live 8 it has
been asked, "well-meaning philanthropist or shameless self-publicist?"
Perhaps the answer is both, at the same time.
With his local connections, Bob Geldof KBE is
the closest thing to a living Atriarch for The Invincible Army.
That doesn't mean we have to agree with him, but you have to
admit that he has got things done.
© All work copyright of Cardinal Cox.