Thursday 24 August 2017

Boomtown Rats rock against homelessness

Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats performing on the Olympia stage last night with The Strypes Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats performing on the Olympia stage last night with The Strypes Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Alan O'Keeffe

Bob Geldof prowled, pranced and pounced around the stage as the Boomtown Rats put in a storming performance at the Rock Against Homelessness concert last night.

A thousand people were out of their seats as the punk rockers belted out their former chart topper 'Rat Trap'.

As expected, Geldof didn't hold back from railing against homelessness in Ireland.

The crowd roared their approval when he invited The Strypes to join them for their performance, hailing them as the greatest new band to come out of Ireland.

And he declared Glen Hansard "a hero of the homeless" before inviting him to join him for 'Rat Trap'.

All proceeds from the event, sponsored by INM, will go to Focus Ireland to help its battle to fight homelessness.

Hosts for the three-hour show were the comedic duo of Katherine Lynch and Al Porter.

Comedienne Lynch said: "I live in Temple Bar so I see the underbelly of the homeless crisis every night.

"No one wants to tell their grandchildren in 20 years time that apathy resulted in people ignoring the problem."

Geldof told this newspaper afterwards: "I'm really glad to have been a part of this concert tonight."

Bressie, whose band The Blizzards revved up the crowd before the Rats came on stage, said afterwards: "Geldof is such a punk. It was brilliant to watch him. I have so much to learn from him.

"He said a lot about homelessness.

"The reason the problem hasn't been solved is because of bureaucracy. It's not because it can't be worked out. If we prioritise social issues, we can fix them.

"That includes homelessness, mental illness, right across the board. It's time to start putting people first again.

Concert organiser Barry Egan, of the 'Sunday Independent', said: "All the performers were hugely generous in giving us such a great show.

"Everyone who helped in anyway deserves our heart-felt thanks."

Irish Independent

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