SINCE bursting on to the music scene six years ago, Rory Charles Graham, better known as Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, has been making some big sounds with that deep baritone voice.

He had to wait for his chance, grafting and collaborating his way through the Brighton hip hop scene, but when “that” big break came, it did so with the huge hit ‘Human’ - making him a household name across Europe.

Having such major success so early, it’s easy to see how it could end up feeling like a massive chain around the neck of an artist – but this is a man clearly at home wearing those.

Within moments of belting out opening track 'Skin' to the thousands at his Forest Live gig in Delamere Forest on Friday (June 17), the requests for 'Human' were pelted in the direction of the heavily-inked star.

“If I play it now, you’ll all go home,” he joked with the crowd before later suggesting his band “didn’t know it”, but if anyone else did he was more than happy to let them come up and give it a go.

Winsford Guardian: Rag 'n' Bone Man on stage at Forest Live 2022 in DelamereRag 'n' Bone Man on stage at Forest Live 2022 in Delamere

You can understand the frustration of managing a crowd, especially when you’re as talented as Graham is and trying to build a whole career of great tracks, not basing your entire act around just one.

And he can’t half sing, of that there is no doubt, as he rattled through a bluesy and soulful set including the life-questioning Time Will Only Tell, which featured on his most recent album, ‘Life by Misadventure’.

There is real passion and verve in his delivery, and it is impossible not to feel the emotion behind the lyrics, including ‘Changing of the Guard’ - written before the impending birth of his son.

He also brings a genuine warmth, wanting to share the limelight with others, at one point, beckoning the crowd to cheer more and more as his two backing vocalists took their own talents for a test drive.

 

Winsford Guardian: Rag 'n' Bone proved a hit with Forest Live festival goers Paul DulacRag 'n' Bone proved a hit with Forest Live festival goers Paul Dulac

And of course, after all the requests, ‘Human’ did land – without question the night’s phone in the air moment. By the time he closed his set with the impossibly catchy ‘Giant’ - a collaboration with Scottish DJ and producer Calvin Harris – he had the family friendly crowd dancing like nobody was watching.

And the final closer – asking the audience to pose for a selfie with him and his band – it once again demonstrated his willingness to share the experience.