A band like no other
Charlie Brock
16:50 31st July 2021

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Bob Vylan and co. descend on a rainy Manchester for a Friday night party - their unique brand of grime-punk is clearly a big draw and the show is a sellout. Bob Vylan has teamed up with the National Lottery for this run of shows, allowing you to tag along with a ticket holder if you have a ticket or a scratcher...it's a pretty good idea and I’m hoping it will get more people in venue’s doors post-Covid.

On to the music then, and YES’ Pink Room is packed as openers Witch Fever take the stage. As tour support goes we all know opening bands can be hit or miss - but Witch Fever blow the roof off the gaff. Their sound is cataclysmic: earth-shattering, sludgy bass is mixed with hard rock guitar, to skull-shaking effect. Witch Fever go hard as fuck: a more than capable opening for Bob Vylan.

Bobby and Bobbie then take to the stage bang on time, frontman Bobby wearing a smart Fred Perry polo and a black and white tartan kilt, complete with safety pins. A brief intro with some minor technical hitches (“I need a new mic lead, bruv”) flows straight into ‘Country Back’. The crowd are well and truly up for this: there is a distinct buzz in the room that only certain special gigs can achieve.

Bob Vylan hardly give you a moment to recover before tearing into ‘England's Ending’, ‘Grime Music Made Me Do It’ and ‘Run Up’. These tracks are unlike anything around right now: BV’s in your face style never holds up, with Bobby crowd surfing, high fiving the crowd and hanging off the bars at the top of The Pink Room’s stage set up. 

The sweat is dripping off the ceiling now, even Bob has to get a roadie to refresh his water supply. Vylan races through more tracks, even grabbing a Bob Vylan branded baseball bat for the aptly named “Chat Shit Get Banged”. Bob Vylan are putting on a truly wonderful show here, they hold the entire crowd in the palm of their hand — the showmanship is wonderful and you can really feel that Bob Vylan are a band who are set for stardom.

We race through more Bob Vylan tracks, including a new cut - ‘Pretty Songs’ is a slow acoustic number, with Bob showing off his singing voice, before those hard punk-as-fuck drums and guitar come back in. They finish the set with ‘We Live Here’ - a cert fan favourite and the track that inspired the first circle pit I’ve been in since lockdown.

Bob Vylan are truly a band like no other. They have an unshakeable mentality of being anti-Tory, anti-cop and anti-fascist - Bob Vylan have an authentic rage that you rarely see in the modern punk scene. Bob Vylan aren’t toeing a left wing line to sell records (I’m looking at you, IDLES). They are fully here for a left-wing, angry punk show. Without a doubt, Bob Vylan are the most important band coming out of the UK right now. They represent the real Britain, and their songs are sure to inspire a legion of young and old punks.

As the now infamous t-shirt reads, ‘Bob Vylan is killing punk rock’. Good. Punk is dead, long live Bob Vylan.

Bob Vylan played:

Englands Ending
Grime Music Made Me Do It
Run Up
Northern Line
Save Yourself
Chat Shit Get Banged 
Merch Stand
Pulled Pork
We Don’t Care
Pretty Songs NEW
We Live Here

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Photo: Derek Bremner