Bob Vylan Ignite the Stage on the Generation Sex Tour

Multi Award Winning Grime/Punk/Metal Duo Bob Vylan were the Special Guests on Generation Sex’s current, albeit brief, sojourn around these shores.

BOB VYLAN

Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – 10 July 2023

Words: Sophie James

Photography: John Inglis

Consisting of Singer Bobby and Drummer Bobby with crushing guitar backing, one could already sense the atmosphere of elation, curiosity or apprehension among the mixed-age group within the audience.

“We will start like we always do with some light stretching and meditation.”

And true to his word, that’s what he did as the pummelling beats and guitar backing ignited. As the pace increased, so did the intensity of his ‘warm-up’, developing into a rhythmic stomping.  

Highly recommended for all folks, whether performing artists or not, before undertaking strenuous exercise.

Bob Vylan - Civic Hall, Wolverhampton - 10 July 2023
Bob Vylan – Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – 10 July 2023. Photo: John Inglis/MetalTalk

If one pens a number such as Northern Line, then it becomes almost mandatory to include a sample of the all too familiar ‘Mind The Gap’ warning. This was signature sound stuff with the sharp metallic instrumentation complementing the addictive rhythms of the percussion and the vocal cadence.

Perfectly bridging the musical chasm between all the above genres, it is the acerbic social comment denouncing all forms of bigotry, hypocrisy, state oppression and injustice that intensifies their power.

Bob Vylan - Civic Hall, Wolverhampton - 10 July 2023
Bob Vylan – Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – 10 July 2023. Photo: John Inglis/MetalTalk

I Heard You Want Your Country Back is a modern multicultural plea filled, as one might expect, with anger and frustration against the divisive ruling ‘elite’.

CSGB, for the unfamiliar, stands for ‘Chat Shit, Get Batted’, during which Bobby menacingly wielded an appropriate piece of willow and cane with such adeptness one wonders at what standard he may have played.

Pulled Pork was “Dedicated to The Met and every other racist, bigoted, homophobic, transphobic police force.” A lot more was said besides which is best omitted from this summary. Need to know more, then catch them when they next play near you.

Bob Vylan - Civic Hall, Wolverhampton - 10 July 2023
Bob Vylan – Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – 10 July 2023. Photo: John Inglis/MetalTalk

“Are you feeling warm? We have one job to do, and that’s to warm you up for Generation Sex.” Fully limbered up, Bobby sprang across the stage during England’s Ending with all the fluidity and grace of a gazelle. 

“Are you still with us, Wolverhampton? For those who haven’t seen us before, it’s equal parts waffling and equal parts music. It gives context to the music.” Take That is an even more venomous and impacting attack on the privileged and their grand designs.

Probably the most controversial moment of the evening was when Bobby brought up the whole Wolverhampton/Birmingham issue. Dodgy ground, indeed. A quick straw poll determined there to be an approximate 50/50 split in attendance.

“Tell you what, we’re back (in Birmingham) in November, and we won’t mention either of them!”

The Delicate Nature yet again highlighted the divergences and injustices between the haves and the have-nots.

“Thank you, Wolverhampton Slash Birmingham. Seems there are far too many pacifist punks. We’re aggressive Punks.” Pretty Songs ceased being so at the title. With a refrain like “Sing a song, a pretty little song. That’s alright, but I’d rather fight” was the most frenzied punk song of the set.

Bob Vylan - Civic Hall, Wolverhampton - 10 July 2023
Bob Vylan – Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – 10 July 2023. Photo: John Inglis/MetalTalk

“We are very honoured to be here. We have shared stages with Biffy Clyro and The Offspring but never such legends as Generation Sex. It’s never too late to accomplish anything you want to.” An abridged version of a perfect introductory piece to Dream Big.

Different, controversial, engaging, interesting, captivating, addictive yet thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable, Bob Vylan may be a challenging listen for some, but their presence, interaction and song structure seduced/bludgeoned you into taking heed.

Music fans love to passionately debate the virtues of artists, whether familiar and informed or not. Bob Vylan most definitely fall into the category of ‘Ones To Divide Opinion’, but the undeniable truth is that they are a dynamic and engrossing live act.

Sleeve Notes

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