Rag’n’Bone Man at Alexandra Palace
Riding a wave of momentum carried over from winning multiple accolades, including the 2017 BRITS Critics’ Choice Award and 2018 Best Single for his album title-track Human, Rory Graham – aka Rag’n’Bone Man – waltzed on stage at Alexandra Palace for what was his biggest show to date of the highly anticipated Grande Reserve Tour.
Rag’n’Bone Man is undoubtedly one of the great vocal and songwriting talents of the past few years. Boasting a multi-platinum selling debut studio album that shot straight to number one in 2017, making it the biggest-selling male debut of the decade, the Brighton-based singer is more than comfortable using his raw and powerful baritone voice to entrance audiences.
Kicking off the show with the soulful Reuben’s Train, followed by his more commercially known hit Wolves, Graham quickly established his prowess to the packed-out crowd. True to fashion, his next few tunes pulled deeper into his more melancholic repertoire, including Ego and No Mother, each delivered in his raw, heart-on-sleeve style, which he has become so well known for.
For some, that kind of melancholy at a gig can get a little heavy and, in truth, a number of his tracks did bleed into one another; but for those well versed in his music there is a certain expectation, and no one is more aware of it than he. Following a punchy delivery of Hard Came the Rain, Graham joked that so many of his songs are miserable, but promised, “The next one will cheer you up”, before pausing and adding: “It’s about murder”.
By midway through the concert, it seemed that Rag’n’Bone Man had already performed most of his songs. The 20-strong setlist was impressive and the artist made an effort to engage with the audience more – a point that came up during some of his other gigs. After a fan screamed for a selfie a number of times, Graham asked for her phone, taking a selfie on stage with the crowd in the backdrop before handing it back. Later on, after his smash hit Skin, the singer got the Ally Pally to sing “Love is all you need” before launching into As You Are.
Without doubt, title-track Human, performed with all seven band members including brass duo, and featuring both a rap interlude and remix, brought with it the biggest crowd reaction. Wrapping up the gig, Rag’n’Bone Man concluded with an encore of Bitter End followed by Hell Yeah, his performance proving once again that his meteoric surge to success is only likely to continue throughout 2018.
Photos: Nick Bennett
For further information and future events visit Rag’n’Bone Man’s website here.
Watch the video for Skin here: