Bob Geldof wows The Regent

Bob Geldof, Ipswich Regent FAMOUS for not liking Mondays, Sir Bob certainly seemed far more chummy with Tuesdays judging by his superb performance at the Regent last night.

Bob Geldof, Ipswich Regent

FAMOUS for not liking Mondays, Sir Bob certainly seemed far more chummy with Tuesdays judging by his superb performance at the Regent last night.

During a staggering two-hour set, Ipswich witnessed a relaxed and reflective Geldof perform some of his favourite songs from more than 25 years as a recording artist.

Dressed in a black and white pinstripe suit, Geldof opened up with The Great Song of Indifference, and this rousing Irish jig from 1990 set the pace for a sparkling set.

Much of the 2002 Geldof sound is a mix of traditional Irish music and slow ballads very much in the style of Dire Straits.

Indeed Geldof's latest album, Sex, Age & Death finds the former Boomtown Rats front man scratching around pop history for a guiding influence with nods in the direction of John Lennon, Leonard Cohen and Massive Attack.

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Tracks from this bizarre album were given a warm reception by a reasonable Regent crowd. The moody Dylan-esque rant of One For Me is introduced as a song from "a personal album" and Geldof visually changes with it. Gone is the cocksure guitar swinger as his eyes close tight to shut the audience out allowing him to share one of his most emotional songs.

In between songs, Geldof is chatty, reminiscent and down-to-earth, recalling tales of his travels with the Boomtown Rats and how he was influenced to write songs by such diverse things as a Boris Yeltsin funeral speech and a telephone in a Warsaw theatre.

One track from the new album, My Birthday Suit, steals the show. It's a stark, slow song as haunting and fragile as anything the likes of Coldplay could produce and after delicately drawing the song to a close, Geldof whisks of his jacket and launches into I Don't Like Mondays.

Other highlights are a caustic rendition of The Boomtown Rats second single, Mary of the Fourth Form and the superbly angry Inside Your Head, a song which makes reference to Paula Yates boyfriend, Michael Hutchence.

Far from being just another eccentric media personality whose life is stuck at a crossroads, Geldof proved last night that he has plenty to offer the current music scene as an original elder statesman of anarchy.

Nick Richards.

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