[This story was published on December 4 at the Brighton and Hove Independent website. Read the original story at brightonandhoveindependent.co.uk/news/rag-n-bone-man-welcomed-home-at-brighton-centre-1-8274568.]
“I remember playing the Concorde on Madeira Drive two years ago,” laughs Rory Graham, more commonly known as Rag’n’Bone Man, as the audience cheer their support. “And now I’m performing at the Brighton Centre!”
It’s been quite the year for the Uckfield born artist, who picked up the choice award at the 2017 Brits back in February, as he came full circle back to his home town last week to perform his final UK tour date.
Since the release of stand out tune Human, Rag’n’Bone Man has shot to fame, a trajectory that seems well deserved when experiencing the performer on stage. Standing in the audience, it felt that Brighton was welcoming back someone with established roots in the city. Unsurprisingly, the show was sold out.
His music recreates the soulful, blues sounds of an era before his own, jumping with ease into the incisive, lyrical hip-hop style prominent in current popular music.
It would be a mistake to put Rag’n’Bone Man’s stage presence down to his instantly recognisable appearance – tattooed, bearded, broad (his support act, Rationale, jokes that the artist towers above his fellow performers). Instead, the audience takes their cue from the artist’s gentle energy, as he oscillates between full immersion in performing, and speaking with ironic self-denigration about the misery in so many of his songs. An excellent show, received with complete appreciation by the packed crowds.
Rationale’s soulful indie pop was enjoyable, and the artist’s well placed confidence made for an entertaining set, whipping up the crowd’s energy for the main act. A special mention must go to opening act Josh Barry. With soul and funk influences accompanying his incredible, powerful voice, it’s hard to believe he’s currently unsigned. Definitely worth checking