Sunday, 23 December 2012

Class of '77: The Boomtown Rats

Class of '77:  The Boomtown Rats
The Sage, Gateshead

The Class of '77 tour was to commemorate the 35th anniversary of debut album releases by a trio of important groups, namely The Boomtown Rats, The Blockheads and From The Jam.

Their respective fortunes have fluctuated over the decades and none of them have their original lead singers among their current personnel but it was good to see them all in action over the course of a very entertaining evening.

The Boomtown Rats have been reduced to two original members: Garry Roberts (guitar) and Simon Crowe (drums). Bob Bradbury (vocals and bass guitar) and Darren Beale (guitar) complete the four-man line-up.

I was very surprised to see that The Sage was considerably less than full, especially as the tour had completely sold out at other venues. Maybe nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

''We're what's left of the Boomtown Rats'' they said, as they took to the stage. ''We're going to play a few tunes you might remember and, you never know, we might remember them as well.''

The Rats were only for 40 minutes and they sensibly performed a set that was essentially a greatest hits package. They played with energy and the time flew by very quickly.

Although their glory days are long gone, they fitted in well within the context of this celebratory show. In short, they made for a good opening act.

Set List

Mary of the Fourth Form
Neon Heart
Someone's Looking At You
Diamond Smiles
Like Clockwork
Rat Trap
She's So Modern
I Don't Like Mondays

The highlights were Someone's Looking at You, Rat Trap (the pick of the bunch) and the new, rocked-up version of I Don't Like Mondays.

Keep up to date with their latest news and tour dates over at the official website.

My reviews of The Blockheads and From The Jam will follow later in the week

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