In a millennial age where almost every second of our attention is absorbed by some form of technology it’s rare to find a voice who can make you stop and listen. Introducing Rag ‘N’ Bone Man – a man whose voice instantly commands your attention from the first note.
It’s a typical Tuesday night in south London but inside the intimate setting of Clapham Grand BRITs Week is off to a flying start. Rappers Dabbla and Nadia Rose take to the stage respectively before the main event, a performance from this year’s BRITs Critics Choice recipient, the aforementioned Rag ‘N’ Bone Man. The event is in association with War Child, a charity whose aim is to help and support children living in war-torn countries with the sentiment echoed in their slogan, ‘Live music changes lives’.
As the singer, real name Rory Graham, appears on stage his presence fills the room, standing before an awestruck audience it’s not the first time during the evening you could hear a pin drop between verses. The set is filled with a diverse mix of material from recent debut ‘Human’ and older EPs, and whether the song subject be melancholic or uplifting the rich, soulful tones that inhabit his vocals circulate around the venue captivating the crowd endlessly.
“I’d say I have another happy song but I don’t, I’m full of misery” he jokes alluding to the somber sensibilities that bleed through into his music and introducing ‘Skin’ with its primal percussion and heartfelt lyrics, “It was almost love.” Arguably gaining the most rapturous response from the Grand, ‘Human’ hits the hardest emulating sonic palpitations, while ‘Bitter End’ is delicately endearing.
Tonight also acts as a warm up for Rory who is soon heading off on a European tour before embarking on festival season with appearances scheduled at Isle of Wight Festival and Parklife Festival. Proving just why he’s the man of the minute, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man deserves more than a second of your time.
For more information about War Child head to https://www.warchild.org.uk
Words: Shannon Cotton
Photos: Anna Smith