Bob Vylan Take A trip On The Northern Line To The Kentish Town Forum

Bob Vylan took the stage at London’s iconic Kentish Town Forum for a night that has been etched in the memories of those lucky enough to witness it. The venue was packed to the brim, with tickets long sold out, creating an electric atmosphere that buzzed with anticipation.

Bob Vylan @ Kentish Town Forum

Bob Vylan @ Kentish Town Forum (Nick Allan)
Bob Vylan @ Kentish Town Forum (Nick Allan)

The night kicked off with an unexpected but welcomed twist as the duo of Bobby Vylan and Bobbie Vylan (unrelated and real names unknown) began with a guided meditation and light stretching session. As the prodigyesque riff is fired out of the PA. The song I Heard You Want Your Country Back hits you like a freight train. A perfect way to introduce Bob Vylan to the masses. As you look around the sold out crowd you have to commend the band of how inclusive and diverse of an audience the band draw bringing punk fans together from all walks of life.

As the set progressed, The Bobs delved into their grime and punk rock-infused discography, Northern Line is the third track of the night and a track that I hold close to my heart an unfortunately regular user of the Northern line it certainly rings true amongst us miserable Londoners, trying to survive in this city.

Not allowing anyone to catch their breath, Bobby Vylan comes out from behind the stage, shirt off and wielding a cricket bat for CSGB or for the non abbreviation minded people – Chat Shit Get Banged. Another barn burner of a track containing that famous Bob Vylan lyrical fire. Ready to take on every keyboard warrior.

The energy in the venue was palpable, with the audience feeding off the raw passion emanating from the stage. While the set focussed on last year’s brilliant Bob Vylan Presents The Price Of Life, 2020’s We Live Here was heavily leaned upon as well as a smattering of material from the duo’s forthcoming fifth record, and second on the Ghost Theatre label, Humble As The Sun. New track Dream Big was perfect to summarise the whole gig. Especially as he introduced his young daughter on stage. Bob declared there were three generations of Vylan in the building tonight.

A band I saw support Strange Bones just two years ago prior to a room of 100 people, selling out their UK tour in 1,000 to 2,000 capacity venues is the definition of dreaming big. Sell out shows, a top 20 record and all proudly independent. Telling the audience we shouldn’t be here, we shouldn’t be this big. We disagree, they deserve all the recognition.

The setlist showcased the breadth of the London hailing duo’s work, with highlights including He Sold Guns, and We Live Here. But singalong moment came when the band slammed into rager Pulled Pork. The Kentish Town choir was in full force screaming “save a life, skin a pig”. A subtle and gentle track about the British Police Force…

Wicked & Bad closed the night on a high note, leaving the audience with a lasting impression of the power and potency of a Bob Vylan performance. The Kentish Town Forum became a space where music transcended boundaries, and Bob Vylan’s unapologetic and genre-defying style left an indelible mark on everyone fortunate enough to be in attendance.

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Live review and photography of Bob Vylan at The Forum, Kentish Town on 25th November 2023 by Nick Allan.

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