Bob Geldof admires ''artist of the moment'' Stormzy and believes he is carrying on the spirit of rock 'n' roll in the modern era.
Bob Geldof believes Stormzy is carrying on the spirit of rock 'n' roll in the 21st century.
The Boomtown Rats frontman considers the grime rapper to be the ''artist of the moment'' and the songs on his debut album 'Gang Signs & Prayer' - which, in Britain, sold 68,594 copies in its first week of release and was streamed 13.9 million times - are speaking directly to young people all over the UK.
Geldof, 65, thinks 23-year-old Stormzy's lyrics contain the same messages of rebellion and escapism that Elvis Presley and Little Richard were singing about in the 1950s and he is excited by what is coming out of the British grime scene.
Speaking to BANG Showbiz, Geldof said: ''Stormzy is the artist of the moment; he's the underground artist who has come above ground ... If you listen to Stormzy's tracks. He's saying he wants the bling, that's a hip hop trope, I'm going for this, I want that s**t. I want the bling world. That's no different from Little Richard, you know the black guy on the wrong side of the tracks saying I want all of this stuff that you've got. It's the same as Elvis saying I want that and making no bones about it. I think there's a direct line from those rock 'n' roll stars to someone like Stormzy.''
Geldof believes that grime - spearheaded by the likes of Stormzy, Skepta and Giggs - has replaced rock 'n' roll as the music of rebellion and he wonders if guitar bands will ever be able to reclaim that title.
He added: ''Grime is the hip genre of music. You talk about guitar bands, where do they go? Is rock just a niche interest now like jazz or something? You just don't know ... Half the point about rock 'n' roll specifically is that it was a language you could use in opposition to your parents almost. A language you could use to define the world you wished to create. So back in the day rock 'n' roll was the central pillar to our culture and the way we identified ourselves ... Now rock festivals are part of the summer, part of the culture of summer and in many instances they're family events. That also implies that rock music for teenagers has become safe.''
Geldof and his band The Boomtown Rats will be playing their hits at Preckyfest 2017 this summer at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens in Merseyside, England, on July 1.
The 'Rat Trap' hitmakers will be joined on the bill by ABC, Paul Young, Dodgy, Toploader, Louisa Johnson and Midge Ure - who, in 1984, co-wrote the Band Aid charity single 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' with Geldof - and the singer can't wait to get on stage and also hang out with his friends backstage.
He said: ''I'm definitely excited about performing at the festival, because after 40 years it's the only thing I really love doing, I love playing with the band. What's there not to like? Festivals are part of the year, part of the season, part of British culture ... I think we're doing in excess of 20 festivals this summer in Europe and the UK.''
''I know Youngy from back in the day, Paul is a friend and quite instrumental in getting Band Aid together. Obviously Midge and myself, because of Band Aid, have known each other forever, and I know the ABC guys to say hello ... When you're touring by yourself you know you're playing to your crowd but when you do a festival, in a way it's actually easier; you've got you're dressing room, you're set, you go on and then afterwards you hang around, you chat to people and have a laugh.''
Tickets and VIP Hospitality packages are available at Preckyfest.co.uk