Rag’N’Bone Man, 29/10/2021, O2 Apollo, Manchester

Rory Graham AKA Rag’N’Bone Man continued his ‘Life by misadventure’ tour last Friday at the O2 Apollo Manchester. The venue was tightly packed with an eagerly expectant crowd, various age ranges in the audience show how special and universally popular Rag’N’Bone Man truly is.

Rag‘n’Bone Man

Accompanied by two backing singers and his band, Rory entered the stage to rapturous applause, wasting no time he kicked off the gig with the current UK hit single ‘All You Ever Wanted’ which had the already enthusiastic crowd bouncing, the deep baritone voice reverberated through the air.

The stage was bathed in a moody blue light as the lower tempo ‘Fall in Love Again’ began, the emotional song and peaceful instrumental showed the softer side of the Brit award winner but still complimented his earthy tone.

Comfortable familiarity arrived with the first song performed from the critically acclaimed ‘Human’ album ‘Skin’ had the audience singing along from start to finish.

Rag‘n’Bone Man

Between songs Rory took the time to interact with the audience, joking that “his back catalogue is not as big as Prince’s”. Though this was seamless and it was clear he was having a good time Rory always appeared slightly shy, admitting he had “forgotten how to speak to an audience”, and looked more comfortable when belting out songs to the crowd with his uniquely raw vocals.

The 18-song set consisted mostly of songs from the second album ‘Life by misadventure’, with influences spanning many different genres. From the up-tempo pop songs like ‘Crossfire’, to slower songs like ‘Grace’ – which had more of a Blues vibe and had the crowd swaying from side-to-side hands in the air.

Rag‘n’Bone Man

The evening concluded with number one single ‘Human’, followed by the 2019 Calvin Harris collaborative hit ‘Giant’, which had the rowdy crowd singing along passionately and brought the evenings exceptional performance to a suitable close. The old adage ‘always leave the crowd wanting more’ is certainly applicable to this show!

Review and Photos by Andrew Giddings


Philip Goddard

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