Torchbearer with Graham J accompanied by Ian Elmslie: Review by Stephen Vowles

There is a warmth and richness to Graham’s voice with a power that comes from deep down. His vocal ability is undeniably strong with the ability to project across the room. Graham’s choice of songs showcased his range – including some fabulous tongue twisting comic phrasing when paying homage to Victoria Woods. 

His rendition of “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face” was extremely haunting, giving the song an operatic feel to it which made the poignant lyrics soar to a different level. His intention is clear: to make each song he sings his own. This is a wonderful talent that puts him in a category of performer that few can assert too. Graham sang “I Miss You Most On Sundays” which was written by Barry Grace following the passing of his partner. For Graham the song is also about the death of his partner and he worked with Barry, before his death in 2016, in creating Graham’s own version of the song. These are of course the best songs to hear, as the sincerity is not in doubt.


A beautiful man with a voice to match. With masterful support by Ian Elmslie on the piano – who also performed his own original song “The Other Man” from a musical is he currently writing. The evening was a sensational examination of the splendour of technique and the expert delivery of pure musical craft and showmanship.


Torchbearer was reviewed on 18 September at Live at Crazy Coqs, Zedel, 20 Sherwood Street, London W1F 7ED. Catch Graham J also on 22 September at Bar Broadway, Brighton, on 26 September at The Two Brewers, Clapham and on 30 September at The Pheasantry in Chelsea. Full details at 

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