SXSW '17: Rag 'n' Bone Man | No. 2
It’s hard to believe a two time BRIT Award 2017 winner would be so kind enough as to play SXSW, a festival for new music, and that we were so lucky as to get up close and personal with Rag ‘n’ Bone Man on his intimate performance on BBC Introducing’s night (IS HE REALLY “INTRODUCING” THOUGH?) and the British Music Embassy at SXSW, Austin, Texas!
Rag ‘n’ Bone Man brought his soulful, emotive music with a stripped down performance with just keys and a guitar behind his deep boomy voice.
We got to hear his worldwide hit song ‘Human,’ in its purest form, with minimal instrumentation and the focus being largely on his voice. This song especially highlights the soulful, slight gospel edge he puts on his songs.
He also performed a cover of Bob Marley’s ‘Is This Love,’ which was a special treat and a rare moment, and it really just enhanced what it means to be part of the music community. It fit in well to the set too, and made sense with his artistry, only demonstrating further his soulful roots.
We got to hear his new single ‘Skin’ just before it was released, for which he talked about how the video was filmed in Kazakhstan and his experiences doing that.. to summarise, according to Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, don’t go…. He continued on to perform ‘Perfume,’ a song deep in emotion, describing the influence of the song to be ‘the scent of someone you love.’
Rag ‘n’ Bone Man also rapped in his penultimate song ‘The Fire,’ and it was interesting to see his other side of his music and artistry. He doesn’t rap often but when he did, it seemed so natural and flawless it was mesmerising. It’s rare to find someone with such soulful smooth melodies and such on point rap in the same song!
He ended with his song ‘Bitter End,’ but it was by no means a Bitter End as he was greatly loved by the audience, a huge chunk being fans from Britain who took the opportunity to see him in an intimate space – a chance that would be difficult to get in the UK now – as well as newly acquired fans in the US.
And of course, aside from the brilliant music Rag ‘n’ Bone Man provided for us, always a pleasure to have a bit of British humour in the States..