Support on the “Overproof Tour” comes from Rationale and Josh Barry, two upcoming UK R’n’B artists who do a decent job of warming up the crowd in the cavernous Brighton Centre. Rory Graham aka Rag ‘n’ Bone Man has had a successful year of touring, selling records and winning awards. He’s also recently become a father so I guess will be taking some well deserved time off when this current tour finishes.
His band consists of drums, bass, lead guitar, keyboards, trumpet, trombone as well as a female backing singer, and they kick things off with a spirited version of the song “Wolves“. A lot of the set is made up of songs from his debut “Human” album (not to be confused with the “Humanz” album by the Gorillaz on which Rory also appears).
From the off he has the attention of the crowd, his vocals ranging from powerful baritone to the rap delivery that goes back to the days of the Brighton based Hip Hop collective Rum Committee from which he emerged. (The impressive stage backdrop made up of hundreds of hand drawn faces has been created by fellow Rum Committee member Captain Bukioe aka Stewart Chromik founder of the London Mural Company).
There’s a brief break in the set when the band plays one short instrumental tune when Rory leaves the stage. When he returns he launches into a version of one of his hit songs “Skin” accompanied only by piano. It’s a great way to showcase his voice and goes down really well.
Throughout the set, Rory says how great it is to be playing such a large venue after years of playing various Brighton pubs and dedicates the entire set to a girl he met backstage who has various health issues. He also takes time to mention that he’s a patron for Audio Active, the Brighton based organisation that provides music based creative experiences for young people.
As his craft has always emphasised playing live we get to hear “Run With The Beast”, a brand new uptempo song that is yet to be recorded. Of course it’s established songs like “Human” that really connects with the crowd but the whole show is a well presented spectacle that should ensure Rag ‘n’ Bone man should be around making great music for a good while to come.