Rat Boy: Live at O2 Forum, Kentish Town

By Helen Walpole

After a sweaty Thursday evening spent bouncing around inside the Kentish Town Forum, I have come to the conclusion that we all need a little bit of Rat Boy in our lives.


A few hours earlier the scraggy 20-year-old (trust me, to him that’s a compliment) bounded onstage amidst a hail of sirens, surrounded by various mates clutching pints and wearing what can only be described as the waviest of garms, before launching into an energetic, mosh-inducing set that sent the crowd into a frenzy. And the crowd went absolutely mad, all the more impressive considering that the average age was about 14 (accompanying mums and dads included).

With the show’s minimum age limit set to eight, Rat Boy knows his audience, and he fully embraces it – although at times he has to break up the mosh pit, perhaps in order to save himself from a nasty lawsuit. But this just demonstrates the massive fun the indie rapper has to offer; crowd-pleasers ‘FAKE ID’ and ‘Sign On’ perfectly capture the youthful, rebellious nature we all wish we could hold on to forever, which is probably why his audience enjoy his gig to the full. It’s a night of embracing youth, and a f*ck-it attitude that gives a big middle finger to the pressures and responsibilities of growing up.

On my way home, bedraggled and nostalgic for those teenage years that Rat Boy will always embody, I’m sincerely glad that he’s around to remind us all how it felt to be 14.


This article was published in our September 2016 issue.

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