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Sunday 26th October 2014
The Engine Shed in Lincoln, UK
Reviews by Hannah Sylvester; Photography by Mark Holmes
Band reformations seem to be occurring left, right and centre in recent years but, tonight, Lincoln is treated to not one, but two legendary bands. Darlings of the alternative rock scene back in the mid-90s, it’s great to see Republica back out on the tour circuit again, currently as support for The Boomtown Rats. Launching their set with their top 20 hits 'From Rush Hour With Love' and 'Drop Dead Gorgeous', it’s clear that Saffron and co. are still just as energetic and enthralling as they ever were. Despite a couple of very minor technical glitches with programming, new songs 'German Accent', 'Hallelujah' and 'Christina Obey' carry on in their trademark alt-rock style with techno leanings and easily stand up against their older material. Closing their relentlessly pogo-worthy set with seminal anthem 'Ready to Go', and receiving a great crowd response (in voice, but sadly not in movement ... but that’s just Lincoln for you ), I think it’s safe to say that Republica are still a massive musical force to be reckoned with. Go see them live, you’ll have one hell of a fun night!
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The Boomtown Rats at The Engine Shed in Lincoln, UK, 26th October 2014
Photograph copyright © 2014 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
"So you find us here, on the first day of winter, in Lincoln, and I’m wearing a fake snakeskin suit”, (Sir) Bob Geldof boldly announces to the crowd. The man has quite the stage presence; impressive for a 63 year old, but not surprising given his showbiz track-record and humanitarian work. But then, we all know Bob is a legend, who else can say they’ve played the lead role in a Pink Floyd film, organised quite possibly the largest charity concert in the world and gets away (quite rightly in the case of the Live Aid appeal) with swearing on live television?

Having split up in 1986 and only having reformed last year, The Boomtown Rats have attracted a near sell-out crowd tonight, mid-way through their 2014 Ratlife tour. Storming their way through a near hour and a half long set of classics including 'Banana Republic', 'Someone’s Looking at You', and 'Ratlife', their trademark new wave/post-punk style with a hint of rockabilly, gets a rapturous response from the crowd, with 'I Don’t Like Mondays' unsurprisingly launching a mass sing-a-long.

Strutting around the stage for the entire set (giving the gig photographers a serious run for their money), and vocally on form throughout, Bob intersperses the songs with a number of apt ramblings, including a quirky re-telling of how the Rats came to reform – which was met with a brave “get on with it!” from one person in the crowd, responded to with “I’ll get on with it in my own fucking time!” from Bob. Cue huge crowd cheer.

Even with such a massive frontman presence, it’s great to see the other, mostly original, band members clearly enjoying themselves on stage and interacting with the crowd, and playing with massive vigour to boot. All this combined with a varied collection of rat transmogrifications and cartoons, making for one fantastic spectacle of a gig. Ending with the somewhat bizarre, techno-driven “The Boomtown Rats”, Bob announces “we are The Boomtown Rats, and we are mega…and we love Lincoln”, before curtseying and bounding off stage. Well, I’m pretty sure that Lincoln loves you too Bob.
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