The announcement that (Saint) Bob Geldolf is to receive an award for Outstanding Contribution to Music at this years Brit Awards has provoked the kind of spluttering disbelief, from music critics, that we’ve become accustomed to whenever Gerry Adams denies ever being a member of the Provisional IRA (see Feeney’s article). The Guardian’s rock and pop critic Alexis Petridis has a suggestion – “Give him an award by all means, but let’s not pretend his songs have anything to do with it”Geldolf appears to believe differently, however – he’s quoted in the article as saying “It means more than the knighthood, because that was for everyone involved in Band Aid.. The Brit award is for me alone because I, after all, wrote the fucking songs.”
And which songs where they? Petridis lists the [only] well-known ones, Rat Trap.. and er.. well, Rat Trap – “Geldolf ripping up a John Travolta poster on Top of The Pops.. it was as close to punk as most eight-year-old viewers got”
There are, as Alexis Petridis suggests, other more deserving recipients of an Outstanding Contribution to Music award among Geldolf’s own peers – the Clash, the Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello, even Dr Feelgood.
“Instead it’s going to Geldolf, a nice[?] guy who had a couple of big new wave hits and ripped up a John Travolta poster on Top of The Pops. Give him an award by all means, but let’s not pretend his songs have anything to do with it.”
That sentiment would appear to be shared by the organisers of the Brit Awards – or at least whoever maintains their website. Click on the ‘Play Music’ link beside Saint Bob’s picture and you’d expect to listen to, you’d think, a sample of that ‘contribution’.. you, and indeed Bob, may be disappointed. The only sample of his work, on which to justify the award, is “Do they know it’s Christmas”.. the 2004 version.