[LIVE REVIEW] Rag’n’Bone Man @ 170 Russell, Melbourne 24/07/2017

Review & Photos Cassandra Hale

Not for a minute did I expect the lengthy line that awaited me on my arrival at 170 Russell, but it seems that the older demographic that made up the majority of the line were ready and waiting for doors, unlike the tardiness that can become the younger fans.

Kicking off first was Melbourne based foursome, The Teskey Brothers. It was obvious from the onset that they had a large fan base all of their own, loudly singing along and enjoying the soul and blues based delights they had on offer. Crying Shame was the perfect place to start followed by new songs I Get Up and Say You’ll Do. Anyone who listens to local radio would more than likely have heard Pain and Misery as it has had some serious airplay of late.  Their debut album Half Moon Harvest is selling like hot cakes and it is no surprise why after seeing their amazingly soulful performance in their short thirty minute set. If you closed your eyes during Louisa you were transported to somewhere deep down in Georgia, with Josh Teskey’s husky vocals channeling all kinds of amazing rolled into one, matched perfectly with brother Sam Teskey on guitar, Brendon Love on bass and Liam Gough on drums. When you think well, this really couldn’t get much better out comes the harmonica and Josh, a man of many talents treats us to a fabulous clap a long/harmonica solo which was absolutely captivating. Another new song Right For Me finished out the set, which I am sure all will agree was not nearly long enough. If you are yet to see The Teskey Brothers you better be quick as they are selling out every show! It is terrific to see the fans supporting our local bands, and enjoying live music as only Melbourne can offer.

Right on time which is always pleasing it was time for the main event, Rory Graham a.k.a. Rag ‘n’ Bone Man. Touring on the huge success of his album Human, I was keen to see for myself if this tour would live up to expectations. I had no idea it would rise above those expectations and soar to celestial heights. From the first notes I knew it was going to be amazing, opening with St James, Wolves, No Mother, and Ego just to name a few. Singing with pure emotion it was all too clear that Rory was overwhelmed by the support from his Australian fans, this gentle giant lost for words on several occasions. Your Way and then one of Rory’s favourites The Fire followed by Hard Came The Rain, it was an abundance of beautifully written songs, leaving the fans spellbound.

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I must applaud the band and back up singer, all were fabulous musicians in their own right, but having a front man like Rag ‘n’ Bone Man who demanded your full attention I felt I did not give the band the recognition they deserved.  Lay My Body Down, Perfume and Life in her Yet all beautiful. Rory stating that when writing his songs he is ‘not a cheerer upper’ but his soulful delivery erases the sadness of the lyrics and leaves joy in its place. Grace, followed by Skin could tip even the most stoic person to shed a tear, these emotive lyrics buzzed through every person at the sold out show.  As You Are and Guilty were next up and I was surprised at the duration of the show, it was much longer than I expected.

Human was sublime, although I expected no different after what had already been delivered. The fans loved every minute, singing passionately from the heart, no one holding back clearly taken in the moment.  Bitter End and Hell Yeah bought the night to a close, and while I was really sad it was over I was truly grateful that it happened. It is a show that will hold a place in my heart for a very long time, like a big warm hug of musical brilliance.