In the late 70s and early 80s, the BBC had a series of programmes called ‘Sight and Sound In Concert’. These specially filmed gigs were simultaneously broadcast on BBC TV and radio. A few are available commercially – as is the case with the excellent Thin Lizzy performance from the Hitchin Regal in 1983 – but sadly, many are not. Thankfully, due to repeat showings, many fans have pristine off-airs of shows by Camel, Gentle Giant, Renaissance and others.
Such is the case with this storming set by new wave legends The Boomtown Rats. Two Boomtown Rats DVDs have been issued retrospectively – one containing a full set of promo clips, other oddities and highlights from a live show on their ‘In The Long Grass Tour’, the other featuring a much sparkier, earlier performance with the original six piece band promoting ‘A Tonic For The Troops’.
Unsurprisingly, the show filmed for the BBC’s ‘Sight and Sound’ is unavailable for purchase, sat gathering dust somewhere in an archive, wheeled out for repeat showings on occasion, whenever BBC4 decide to show a few old gigs from the series (the same applying to many great shows for their earlier ‘Rock Goes To College’ series).
The below show was filmed at Goldiggers, Chippenham in 1984 and while it represents a time for the Rats where the hits were on the wane, few could argue the quality and energy in their live performance.
[Read a piece on The Boomtown Rats’ reunion show in London here.]