HON JIUN WONG

Despite it not being Sunday, Rag’n’Bone Man took the eager crowd of fans to church when he performed at Corsica Studios on November 25. Rory Graham, better known by his stage name “Rag’n’Bone Man”, is a Brighton-based blues singer who has become known for his unique mixture of blues, soul and hip hop.

When the first notes of ‘Reuben Train’ started to play, the crowd at Corsica Studios instantly went silent and prepared themselves for what was about to be a really exciting and engaging show. Rag’n’Bone Man’s soulful vocals filled the room and he had everyone, long-time fan or first-time listener, captivated.

One might have thought, after hearing ‘Reuben Train’, that it was going to be a gospel-like performance, complete with melodious hums. However, they were soon proved wrong when ‘No Mother’ was played next. Rag’n’Bone was going to get everyone in Corsica Studios up and dancing. He needn’t have worried as it was very clear from the start that the crowd, mostly young-adults, loved Rag’n’Bone Man. They all danced vigorously to his songs and sang along to every word.

He quickly followed ‘No Mother’ with ‘Life In Her Yet’, ‘What Have You Done’ and ‘Lay My Body Down’, all of which were happily received. Singing to a background instrumental track but with completely live vocals and drumming, Rag’n’Bone’s throaty but powerful vocals vibrated every fiber of the crowds bodies.

Regardless of the small venue, the production managed to keep the lighting fresh and that in itself really enhanced Mr Graham’s performance. Rag’n’Bone continually expressed his appreciation for the turnout during the breaks of his songs, just showcasing what a humble and modest man he is. At the beginning, he said he was a little nervous performing at London but listening to him sing, you would have never guessed.

Other than playing crowd-favourites “Sirens” and “Hell Yeah”, a clear highlight of Thursday’s performance was “Wolves” where rapper, Stig of the Dump joined him up on stage. The crowd went wild and rightly so; the chemistry between the two performers was electrifying, punctuating every word rapped and every note sung with intense energy.

Ultimately, all good things must come to an end but before Rag’n’Bone Man headed home for the night, he did an encore where he sang a soul song acapella. With a spotlight shining on him, Rag’n’Bone poured his emotions out into the song, raising goosebumps on everybody’s hand. The soul song, sung acapella was a nice touch, especially after starting the set with “Reuben’s Train”.

Support act, Joel Baker, is also one to watch in the future. Playing summery and funk-sounding songs like “Further Than Feelings” and “Garden”, Joel Baker showcased his musical talents and got the crowd up and moving. Ending with beautiful song: “Every Vessel Every Vein”, Joel Baker made sure everyone would have a hard time forgetting his sound and his name. Big things are sure to happen to him.

4.5 / 5.0