The Boomtown Rats are an Irish New Wave band that had a series of Irish and UK hits between 1977 and 1985. The group is led by vocalist Bob Geldof. The other members of the original line-up were Garry Roberts (lead guitar), Johnnie Fingers (keyboard), Pete Briquette (bass), Gerry Cott (guitar) and Simon Crowe (drums). The Boomtown Rats broke-up in 1986, but reformed in 2013, without Johnnie Fingers or Gerry Cott.
All six members originate from Dún Laoghaire, Ireland. They were booked for their first gig under the name "The Nightlife Thugs" but Garry Roberts threatened to resign over the name. Just before they went on stage that evening they changed the band’s name to the "Boomtown Rats" (a gang of children that Geldof had read about in Woody Guthrie's autobiography, Bound for Glory).
The group moved to London in October 1976, and became associated with the punk rock movement. Signing a recording contract with Ensign Records, they released their debut single, "Lookin' After No.1", in August 1977. It was the first of nine straight singles to make the Top 40 in the UK Singles Chart. Their debut album, The Boomtown Rats, was released in September 1977, on Ensign in the UK and on Mercury Records in the United States, and featured another single, "Mary of the 4th Form". Music journalist Martin C. Strong commented, "Geldof's moody charisma helped to give the band a distinct identity".