BOB Geldof is, arguably, better known for his political activism and attempts to end world poverty than for his tunes.
That’s not to say Geldof hasn’t produced some memorable songs; quite the opposite is true, and he’ll be proving as much when he visits Harrogate’s Royal Hall on Friday, May 25 as part of his current UK tour.
Not many musicians can accurately claim to have changed the world – Geldof can. Band Aid’s 1984 poverty anthem (co-written with Midge Ure) Do They Know It’s Christmas? topped the UK chart for five weeks and brought the plight of Ethiopia to national then global awareness.
It remains the second biggest-selling single in UK singles chart history.
The single’s success spawned the immense Live Aid, a rock-concert titan of 16 hours broadcast live on UK TV and radio that raised more than £150million for famine relief and earned Geldof an honorary knighthood at 34.
Amazing charity work aside, there is of course also his work with The Boomtown Rats, the 1970s/80s rock and punk-led group that had two number ones, including Rat Trap and controversial 1979 number one smash I Don’t Like Mondays, penned in response to the California school shooting carried out by Brenda Ann Spencer. Geldof left the group in 1986 to work on his autobiography, Is That It?, and forge a solo career, as well as keeping up hiswell-earned reputation as rock music’s potty-mouthed philanthropist.
Geldof’s latest LP, How To Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell, was released on Mercury Records last year to strong reviews.
His first album since 2001’s Sex, Age & Death and his fifth as a solo artist (it’s his eleventh if you include The Boomtown Rats’ back catalogue), the album featured 14 new compositions recorded with long-time collaborator Pete Briquette.
l For tickets, telephone the box office on 01423 502116 or book online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk