Rag N Bone Man @ Town Hall 7 February, 2018

Rag N Bone Man

It’s not every day just 600 people get to watch one of the UK’s latest and greatest stars in a special venue, let alone for free. But that’s what happened tonight, step forward Rag N Bone Man, Birmingham Town Hall and the very generous Absolute Radio who hosted the evening to us lucky people.

Rag N Bone Man

With Rag N Bone Man being the only artist gracing the stage tonight, this evening is reserved for the hard-core fans, and the mix of people in the crowd is impressive, younger, older, and everything in between, and as soon as the crowd is unleashed into the room you can sense the excitement for what lies ahead.

Rag N Bone Man

The evening was officially kicked off by Dave Berry from Absolute Radio; with the gig being streamed live on his show too, as well as filmed, so keep an eye out for that if you want to watch/listen back to the gig. After an easy bit of crowd encouragement, Rag N Bone Man walked out with his band and started the set with Wolves, and instantly I knew we were about to watch something special.

Rag N Bone Man

Before writing this, I promised myself I wouldn’t drone on about his voice, but how can you not? It’s powerful, mesmerising, soulful and honest and it pulls you in to his music. I had heard before the gig that Rory has recently been quite ill and has been struggling with his voice, something he confirmed before the third song Ego started, when the audience started voicing their sympathy he quickly backed tracked with ‘ah fuck it, you don’t want to hear me moaning’ and fuck it indeed, there is absolutely no sign of a subpar performance tonight from him, I’d take a cold every day of the week if I sounded even half as good as him.

Rag N Bone Man

In between songs Rory is playfully talking to the crowd, explaining further how songs were written and why, his confidence and honesty is really endearing and he isn’t afraid to let his personality and humour through “Does anybody like a miserable song?’ cue the crowd cheering, Rory “Good, cause I’ve got fucking loads of them ones”. This interaction and humour is exactly what this evening needs.  Some artists would walk out and isolate themselves, barely uttering a word, but you can tell that isn’t the Rag N Bone Man’s style. It’s this very style that is so infectious, as well as the voice of course, did I mention THAT voice?

Rag N Bone Man

As the set progresses you witness how much Rory’s music means to him, during the guitar solo in The Fire he’s feeling every note and it’s invigorating to watch a real artist, enjoying his real music.  Somewhere in the middle of the set Skin is played out with just a piano accompanying him. It’s a special moment in the set that silences the room other than a bit of crowd participation around the chorus, I could relive that moment many times over.

Rag N Bone Man

The set is all too soon wrapped up with Hell Yeah, leaving us to exit the venue on a high. I always like to eavesdrop when leaving a gig to see what others thought. I heard ‘That guys voice is insane’, ‘That was amazing’, ‘I didn’t want it to end’, ‘What a voice’, ‘He’s so lovely’.

This right here is why Rag N Bone Man holds the title of the fastest selling male debut album of the decade, Brit Award nominations for Best Single, Best British Album, Best British Solo Artist, and all the other accolades and accomplishments being thrown at him. It’s so much more than his voice; it’s his personality, his lyrics, his honesty, his songs.

The next few years are set to be pretty huge for Rag N Bone Man, and I can’t wait to see how they pan out.

Listen to the full radio broadcast of the gig on Thursday 15th February from 7pm on Absolute Radio and watch on-demand at www.absoluteradio.co.uk

Rag N Bone Man Set List:

No Mother
Your Way
The Fire
Lay My Body
As You Are
Run with the Beast
Bitter End
Hell Yeah


Reviewer/Photographer: Marc Osborne

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