Electric Picnic live review; Rag 'n' Bone Man , Main Stage

Ed Power reviews from the Main Stage on the last day of EP17

Rory Graham hoped he wasn't tempting fate as he introduced a song called Hard Came the Rain. After a Saturday night deluge the sun had emerged and it was hard to imagine this was the same main stage where, 24 hours previously, headliners had battled a horizontal downpour.

Under a blue sky, Graham – aka Rag 'n' Bone Man – was perfect festival fare. A big man with an even bigger voice, he lulled Stradbally with gospel-infused ballads and a flintily outsize personality .

Skin and Human showcased both his remarkable forcefulness as vocalist – not for nothing has he been dubbed the "male Adele" –and his idiosyncratic lyrics. Yet even as his music suggests daytime radio playlists – and Sunday afternoon music festival slots – they explore such incongruent themes as murder and self loathing.

One of the year's more hyped new artists, Graham has endured somewhat of a pummelling from critics decrying his willingness to gloss up dark material in order to appeal to a mainstream audience.

But here his authenticity was unmistakable, especially as he threw himself into roiling closers Bitter End and Hell Yeah.

The audience lapped it up. Or at least most of them did. "Who's your man…? Is he supposed to be famous,?" commented one punter down the back. "I dunno…," said her friend, and off they wandered. Graham can console himself agnostics were very much in the minority.


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