Bob Geldof

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By Jeremy Miles

ON the eve of St Patrick's Day Ireland's favourite rock star and political campaigner arrived in Poole to deliver a curate's egg of ceilidh.

Despite running through 27 years of material ranging from Boomtown Rats glory days (Rat Trap etc) to a glorious fiddle- and accordion-driven Irish knees-up, this show never quite lived up to expectatons.

The booming acoustic of the concert hall contrived to distort the sound and laying it out like a company dinner dance inihibited rather than relaxed.

This was a cabaret style that, until the very end, seemed to keep people firmly in the seats.

It was a shame because Geldof is a great live performer and this band are superb, whether pounding out punk-tinged R&B from the Rats back catalogue or giving musical vent to the pain and soul-searching of the extraordinary Sex, Age and Death album.

Not many performers can slip seamlessly from telling anecdotes about teenage lust and adventures in the former Eastern bloc to trying to make sense of the death of their estranged wife and her lover. Geldof does it bravely and with diginity.

Support act was Mike Peters of The Alarm, whose "one man and a guitar" style songs were curiously enhanced by the strange sound.

It added an instant "busker in a pedestrian subway" quality.

© Jeremy Miles 2017