BoomTownRats Press Photo

The Boomtown Rats to headline Chagstock Festival 2013

The Boomtown Rats (original line up) have today been confirmed as the headline band for the Chagstock Festival 2013. It will be the Rats’ only festival headline performance, and one of only 2 UK shows this summer, so it is a real coup for this lovely little festival held on Dartmoor.

John Robb in late Janary announced here at LTW that The Rats were reforming ( LTW news) and had been selected to appear at the Isle OF Wight Festival; the news sparked great debate on the LTW Facebook page; particuarly as John applauded the Rats’ honesty “The Dublin band were always given short shrift by the hipsters but for a period of time made a pretty convincing stab at the poppier, Springsteen fringe of punk rock and Geldof was a great frontman and Johnny Fingers looked like a cuddly Sid Vicious in pyjamas. Their early catalogue is dotted with some great singles and for many younger punk rock kids they were a big deal.

Their unashamed commerciality was probably what grated with the punk inner circle, who, to be honest were doing the same thing but less obviously. A listen back to their early records now shows a surprisingly good, tough sounding band and maybe it’s time that history had another look at them and acknowledged this and their size- they were, for a period, the biggest of the punk/new wave bands.
I’d like to be hip and cool about these things but have to admit there were some really good and pretty exciting songs in their early catalogue and some interesting, quirky moments like on ‘Like Clockwor’’. Whether they were punk or not is a moot point but as a tough pop band they certainly had their moments.”


Either way Chagstock will be the bands only UK headline appearence this summer; Bob Geldof said, “The second I heard the name ‘Shagstock’ I knew that was THE festival for The Boomtown Rats. Only later when we agreed and signed contracts did Simon, the Rats drummer, point out it was in fact ‘Chagstock’, his local summer Music Fest. Oh well…

I will do my best to personally attempt to do everything in my power to have the name revert to my far better original mistake. It’s a beautiful part of the world. Billy Bragg is a hero. The Rats are a great band. It will be a pleasure to do the Rat in Devon again.”

Returning after the stunning sell-out success of last year’s event which featured KT Tunstall, Fun Lovin Criminals, Seth Lakeman and Alabama 3 amongst many others, Chagstock retains its traditional 2-day format in 2013. As introduced last year in recognition of the tough economic climate for families, all children under 12 can attend for free (ticket is required). Chagstock’s capacity is once again capped at just 5,000 tickets to ensure that its intimate, family-friendly atmosphere is maintained.

Other bands/artists so far confirmed include Billy Bragg, Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman, Wille & The Bandits, Marc O’Reilly, Brother & Bones, Ferocious Dog, The Aurora Skies, Crazy Arm, and New Crisis

Tickets are on sale now.

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


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