SIR Bob Geldof has quashed the popular theory his group THE Boomtown Rats were a punk band, insisting their angry lyrics were inspired by the troubles in his native Ireland.

Geldof claims the I DON'T LIKE MONDAYS stars - who shot to prominence in the midst of Britain's 1977 punk explosion - were wrongly grouped with bands like THE Sex Pistols and The Clash, because his rock outfit focused on the crisis engulfing his homeland rather than the struggles facing the British youth.

Geldof tells British magazine TIME OUT, "What the Brits never got about the Rats was that it was so specifically an Irish band. Look at Ireland in 1975: you had civil war, in effect, and a binding church-state compact, imposing cultural silence.

"There was social claustrophobia and chronic unemployment. So with (debut single) LOOKING AFTER NO 1 I said, 'The world owes me a living - f**k off!' It was imagined that we were trying to write relevant, punky lyrics, but it was actually about Ireland in 1975."

02/02/2005 02:33