This Crystal Palace crowd are well and truly warmed up by the time Rory Charles Graham – AKA Rag ‘n’ Bone Man – and his band causally saunter out onto the stage causing quite the stir with the gig goers, the 38-year-old East Sussex man tonight’s main support for Denver-based folk heroes Lumineers.
Rag'n'Bone Man @ Crystal Palace Park
The troupe launch straight into belter Wolves from debut album Human. The jubilant crowd joining in from the get go providing additional backing vocals, despite the fantastic backing vocalists he already has on stage.
Barely stopping to take a breath and they’re straight into Skin, the audience and band are now in their element and the band just keeps on giving with All You Ever Wanted up next, a track from his second and most recent album: Life Of Misadventure.
Rory gives the band a short reprieve whilst he asks the crowd if they’re ok, thanks them for all the love and tells them how he was tempted to walk down the “penis extension” (stage walkway) but that he wasn’t allowed too as he might slip. This gets an uproar from the crowd and I’m sure a few are disappointed that they won’t get to see this amazing vocalist up close and personal.
Half way through the one hour set our lead continues with some self-deprecating banter as a member of the crowd asks for a request, the response was they can’t play it in case the crowd f*ck off after they played it and so they’d have to wait, instead the band perform Anywhere Away From Here, originally performed with P!nk but the backing vocalist does a stunning job in her absence.
The front man introduces Choke Hold as a brand new song and his vocals for this one seem to take it up a notch, if that’s even possible! Whether you call yourself a fan or not there’s one thing you can’t deny and that is that Rory Charles Graham has an astonishingly powerful and soulful voice that knows just how to emote this lyrical genius.
Three quarters of the set in and I suspect the earlier request is fulfilled, the chords to storming debut album title track Human ring out across the park, the ongoing background conversations break off and are instead replaced with a sea of voices and the place breaks out in chorus and continues to sing along. It’s clear this one remains a firm favourite with the fans. If our Rag ‘n’ Bone man was truly worried about the crowd leaving after this song, he need not have been as the they are here to stay and he continues to entertain and show off the range and talent of his voice.
They end strong on Giant which gets the masses fist pumping and jumping up and down cheering, this crew came here to entertain and they leave behind an electrified throng who no longer care that they’ve been soaked to the bone by this evening’s summer storm.
Review of Rag ‘n’ Bone Man @ Crystal Palace Park on 8th July 2023 by Bernadette O’Malley. Photos by Lauren Patel.