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Boomtown Rats
Very successful punk/new wave band led by Bob Geldof formed in Dun Laoghaire in 1975

About Boomtown Rats

The Boomtown Rats led by Bob Geldof broke new ground for Irish rock music by being the first Irish rock band to score a UK #1 hit.

Adapted from

The Boomtown Rats released their first single, "Looking After Number One", in 1977, and it went straight into the UK singles chart. The song was a raw, youthful punk rock song that spoke of pure self interest.

Their debut album, The Boomtown Rats, featured another single, "Mary of the Fourth Form", and the first part of the so-called Dublin Trilogy, "Joey's on the Street Again".

The Rats' second album, A Tonic for the Troops, was their most commercially successful. It stayed on the UK albums chart for over a year, leading many music critics to dub 1978 as 'The Year of the Rat' in England. It featured their next hit single, "Rat Trap", the second part of the Dublin Trilogy, which became the first ever song by an Irish band to reach #1 in the UK, as well as the first 'New Wave' song to do likewise. In addition to this historic single, the band also released "Like Clockwork", a song popular as an opener to their live performances, and "She's So Modern".

The Fine Art of Surfacing, the band's third album, described the Rats' foray into the U.S., and featured their most famous song, "I Don't Like Mondays", which was written in response to a school shooting in California by Brenda Ann Spencer, and also reached #1 in the UK. In addition to "I Don't Like Mondays", the album also featured the singles "Diamond Smiles" (about the suicide of a debutante) and "Someone's Looking At You" (a song about fame and paranoia). Both charted in the UK Top 20. "When the Night Comes", the final song in the Dublin Trilogy, was also released on the album.

This, however, would be the peak for the band; the next six years would see their gradual decline. "Banana Republic", the 1980 single off of their next studio album Mondo Bongo, was to be their last Top 10 hit, written in response to the band not being allowed to play in Ireland for fear of riots in the audience. After going places where no Irish band had ever gone before, the Rats were stunned by this homecoming, and became very disillusioned with Irish politics. Also notable about "Banana Republic" was the song's shift to a reggae-based sound. The Rats began experimenting musically in Mondo Bongo; the album's other songs featured a heavy dose of drum- and keyboard-based music, a far cry from the guitar-driven pub rock of the band's early days. This disillusioned lead guitarist Gerry Cott, who left the band prior to the recording of the band's fifth album, V Deep, which was a major shift in the Rats' music; each song featured experimentation, and heavily relied on synthesized sounds. Its singles were the moody "Never in a Million Years" and the perky "House on Fire", which was designed to have a jungle-type vibe to it.

The band's final album, In the Long Grass, failed to produce any Top 40 singles. It continued the Rats' experimentation from Mondo Bongo and V Deep, but also had a return to story-based songs such as Johnny Fingers' "Another Sad Story". Its singles were all flops. After Live Aid, CBS re-released In The Long Grass, but despite Geldof's increased popularity and visibility, the album failed to chart.

The band's final performance came at Self Aid, a 1986 concert featuring many Irish rock superstars, to raise awareness of rampant unemployment in Ireland.

After the band's breakup, Geldof launched a solo career. Pete Briquette plays bass in Geldof's new band, The Happy Club. Gerry Cott also had a short-lived solo career, releasing one record, "The Ballad of the Lone Ranger". Johnnie Fingers and Simon Crowe founded the band Gung~Ho in the late 1980s, with limited success. Fingers is currently with the Japanese band, Greengate, whilst Simon Crowe is in the moderately successful Celtic instrumental band Jiggerypipery.


Boomtown Rats - I dont like Mondays video

Boomtown Rats - Up All Night video

Boomtown Rats - Mary of the Fourth Form video

Boomtown Rats - Looking After Number One video


Angus wrote on 2019-04-02 00:00:00:
i love johnnie fingers too
Sean Hennessy wrote on 2007-11-15 00:00:00:
I have some pics of the band playing live on my two sites Here: and here: JUST ADD the "WWW" parts to get there :)
india moylett again wrote on 2006-12-24 00:00:00:
there really should be more stuff on johnnie cause i know he was just a key board dude but he was the hottest one his songs wore the best to. i think Mr Fingers i love you
india moylett wrote on 2006-12-24 00:00:00:
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