Brighton based singer, Rory Graham, better known by his alias Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, travelled to Bournemouth on Sunday despite illness to entertain the crowd at the Winchester pub.
Headlining a hip-hop night as an artist who has shaped his own brand of blues with a dose of hip-hop wrapped in whole heap of soul would be daunting if it weren’t for the artist’s roots.
As a member of Brighton hip-hop group Rum Committee his sound has been heavily influenced by the genre, he has however made a big diversion from the heavily trodden path.
His voice was deep and rough as a Louisiana blues-man and his lungs hold as much soul as Aretha Franklin’s. With this sound, he grabbed the attention of the young audience.
The set began with some of his livelier, hip-hop oriented songs that contain heavy soul influences.
Tracks like Nobody and Tell ’em Like It Is grabbed the crowd’s interest with their hip-hop-esque production but the real show began when Rag ‘n’ Bone Man modestly requested that, down to his illness, he wanted to just grab his guitar and play.
From this point on you see the true talent that lies in this young man. His voice echoes around the small venue and tingles shoot down spines. He hits high and low notes with apparent ease and his emotive tones leave you completely hypnotised.
Rory Graham was approached by ITV’s X-Factor to appear on the show with a “free pass” to proceed through the stages but turned it down.
“I don’t see the X-Factor as real music because it’s all based around instant success, “boil in the bag fame,” and I can’t support that or anyone who does.” said Rory, “It’s all false and based on image and money and there’s a lot more to life.”
He is an artist who has talent far beyond his recognition and in an age where pop music is throwaway and lacking in meaning, his voice is fresh air in an otherwise stale music industry.
Rag ‘n’ Bone Man has only one release to date, Bluestown, and it is available from his Bandcamp page for £4 as a digital download and is set to be released as a CD on High Focus records soon. Read the Breaker’s review of the Bluestown EP here.