Music preview: Bob Geldof at the Islington Assembly Hall

07:17 29 May 2012

Bob Geldof

Bob Geldof


Bob Geldof speaks to Tim Lamden ahead of his show at the Islington Assembly Hall on Friday

»By the time they reach the age of 60, most men face the appealing prospect of slowing down and looking forward to retirement.

For Bob Geldof, a music career spanning five decades doesn’t seem to have had that effect.

The release of last year’s How to Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell, Geldof’s fifth solo album following a 10-year recording hiatus, appears to have ignited a ferocious creative appetite.

Describing this fervent songwriting hunger, Geldof said: “There is this urge and it’s like wanting to vomit. It’s a sense that there is something there.

“The frustration is when you can’t grasp it, that touch in the soul. When you get there, there is a great sense of realisation.”

On Friday Geldof takes the stage at Islington Assembly Hall, to conclude a UK tour of theatre halls from Middlesborough down to Brighton, before heading off on a European festival circuit and then onto India.

Islington crowds can expect a musical celebration of Geldof’s new-found philosophy on life, which is the prevailing theme of his latest album.

He explained: “The previous album is very cold, bleak and despairing. This one is the opposite of that – it’s an understanding that a life without love is meaningless.

“Even though most people understand that at the age of 19 it took me until 60 to realise that. That space in time [between the last two albums] was how long it took me to get from one place to another.”

Geldof may still be changing and developing as a person but fans can rest assured he has not forgotten the musical highlights of his past.

While tomorrow’s set will draw on much of the latest album’s loving sentiments, the former Boomtown Rats frontman insists he will not neglect favourites from the band’s back catalogue.

“I like doing songs from all over the place - I Don’t Like Mondays, Rat Trap - if I got bored doing them, I just wouldn’t do them,” he said. “But I don’t get bored. The moment it starts, I’m right in there – it’s never a put on.”

Last month, Geldof’s daughter Peaches made him a grandfather for the first time, something he took as reminder of the “depressing predictability of the life cycle”, explaining: “You turn 60 and bingo, you’re a grandfather.

“It’s weird writing little notes saying ‘love Granddad Bob’, but he’s a great little fella.”

After almost 40 years of touring and performing, Geldof could be forgiven for feeling jaded, but as fans tomorrow will discover there is no chance of that happening anytime soon.

“I never get over the fact that people pitch up and come and see me,” he said. “I never get over how much I love doing it.”

To buy tickets to Friday’s show at the Islington Assembly Hall, in Upper Street, N1, visit

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