On a cold Thursday night it’s time to go to a venue that I have yet to frequent, that venue is Brixton Jamm on Brixton Road, in Brixton, a mere 10 minute walk from Brixton tube and not far from Brixton Market and Brixton Academy, did I say it was in Brixton?
**Tonight the venue hosts two stars of the future, up first is local musician Daniel Caplen (aka 'D/C') with his band, a powerful set if I say so myself, even with a few sound issues which is nothing to do with the band, D/C reminded me of Maverick Sabre, he has the charisma and vocal talent to crash any decent award ceremony. Check out his credentials below:-
Just before 10pm, the main man Rory Graham (aka Rag’N’Bone Man), whose voice sounds like an angel with a '40 a day' habit, a voice that has the ability to send a chill across any angel’s wings takes to the stage. The crowd swells out this venue, seeming like it’s a place that Rag 'N' Bone Man chose himself for the evening. The great thing I notice tonight is his humility, even before the gig he was outside talking to his fans and didn’t seem bothered by the attention. He dives straight into ‘Wolves’ which is taken from the EP of the same name, also a favourite of mine.
There’s a smoke machine on full blast, it seems to still be a thing these days, I was clearly not at that meeting so can someone tell me why smoke machines are still a thing? Am I getting too old for this? It blurs the vision of the less sighted (like myself), the sweet strawberry odour masking that of stale Grolsch on the floors of this (and many other) reputable music venues.
Back to Rag’N’Bone Man.... He dances to the rhythm the guitarist plays for him, the backing singers announce themselves with furore and this is a continuation through the night. Just over an hour of his music, some of the crowd sing back to him between songs. The wonderful thing is he genuinely seems impressed that people made the effort to come to see him. The guy is certainly able to hold an audience, his confidence is growing with every performance compared to the way he was when I saw him before, some time ago.
He’s putting out some unbelievable tunes tonight, Rag 'N' Bone Man’s instrument is his voice, it belts out words that would impress an English lecturer, easily changing styles, seeming like he’s holding the hands of the unappreciated.
'Wolves', 'No Mother', 'Life in her Yet' and 'Lay My Body Down' are just a few tracks that he performed tonight, the chills that this man can create from vocal chords alone is unlike anyone I have come across before, proper spellbinding stuff!
A cover of Gospel Queens' ‘What Have You Done’, acknowledges a well written and touching song like it's his own creation. He breaks in with a perfect acapella, leaving the audience to well up.
'Hell Yeah' is the penultimate track and another stormer, he reminded me of Whitey Ford with his style, Whitey Ford being the alias of 'House of Pain' front man 'Everlast'. He closes with the wonderfully poignant 'Bitter End', a superb choice to end the evening of amazing talent, performing to people who know the words and will follow him to (pardon the pun) the 'bitter end'.
It was great to see him at the merch table at the end, selling CD's, T-Shirts and posing for the obligatory 'selfies'.... Rag’N’Bone Man IS the real deal, do yourself a favour and get on board.
Words by Mark Wincott
**There was another act on before D/C called 'Tiggs Da Author', sorry to say that owing to public transport, I missed his set...another time maybe.
What Have You Done (Cover)
Lay Her Body Down
Life In Her Yet