LIVE REVIEW: Jake Bugg

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE: Village Underground

WHEN: 7/3

SETLIST: On My One; Me And You; Simple Pleasures; Love, Hope & Misery; Two Fingers; Seen It All; Never Wanna Dance; There’s A Love We’re All Hoping For; There’s A Beast & We All Feed It; Country Song; Trouble Town; Gimme The Love; Bitter Salt; Taste It; Kingpin; Livin’ Up Country; Slumville Sunrise; Lightning Bolt.

Jake Bugg is playing four small London shows to kickstart his third album campaign and we’re here at the first with 700 others to hear much of new album On My One. (out 17 June).

It’s been three years since Shangri La and the new material is not a radical departure from what we’ve heard before although there are signs Bugg is experimenting.

We particularly enjoyed Love, Hope & Misery which to these ears is a monster hit in waiting recalling as it does elements of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody as Bugg’s voice cracks midway through the chorus in an attempt to do it justice.

On My One introduces dance synths to the mix and Never Wanna Dance is even a touch R’n’B. The most impressive thing about Bugg is not the constant guitar changes between songs but the attempt to broaden the skiffle and blues of his Arctic Monkeys-like earlier material to something more varied. We can hear Oasis and Suede in this set along with The Stones and Bugg’s nasal whine even recalls early 90s indie kids The La’s.

We last saw Bugg in an acoustic set at Islington’s Union Chapel in 2014 and he went on to headline Alexandra Palace that year. Two years on and that album release date indicates to us that he’ll be appearing at Glastonbury this year in a prime main stage slot.

Lightning Bolt is still very much his signature song and all too soon it arrives to signal this intimate gig at the start of an exciting year for Bugg is all but over.

  • Jake Bugg tickets here. Picture via Facebook courtesy Jake Bugg.
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

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