To anticipate the release of his second album, Shangri La, Jake Bugg was back out on the road around the UK, playing bigger venues than ever before and following up his multiple festival slots over the summer.
The 19 year old released his first single ‘Lightning Bolt‘ back in early 2012, experiencing a catapult to fame after his appearance on ‘Later… with Jools Holland’, a live performance at Maida Vale studios and a Brit Award nomination for ‘British Breakthrough Act’. His infamous laid-back nature and dedication to music has attracted a multitude of fans, allowing him to gain record sales, as well as headlines.
The Bournemouth International Centre, while seemingly lost in time along the sea front, was chosen due to its huge capacity rather than its appearance. The architecture and general feel of the venue was worlds away from Bugg’s music, but he didn’t let that hold him back, and neither did his fans who swarmed around the rails in the wide standing area.
The Family Rain provided first support, surprising me with their effortless confidence in such a large venue. The 3-piece rock band have worked hard over the summer, filling numerous festival slots and even preparing for a UK tour this November (dates include Southampton’s Joiners), proving dedication does get you noticed. Their clean cut rock sound has minimal frills, just a tendency to wear monochrome and a lot of leather, much like The Strokes and The Black Keys.
The second support act came from Honey Honey. As the duos first UK show, they didn’t allow their nerves to get the better of them, providing both ballads and banter to an expectant audience. Their wholesome sound is similar to the likes of The Lumineers, entangling folk, western and country and demonstrating the band’s musical versatility.
Jake Bugg’s set was effortless, his arrival on stage commanded the immediate attention of the crowd with the beginning of his first song ‘There’s a Beast and We All Feed It‘. The audience were in the palm of his hand before he had even played the first note, and the set was a stellar example of his passion for music and his refreshing disinterest in the fame or glory that comes with being a famous singer. He talked little with the audience, except to credit his new album, only giving the occasional grin to the audiences cheering and jovial heckling.
His disappearance before the encore lead to a unanimous cry of upset from the audience, and a steady raise in the sound of clapping and foot stopping, until the entire seated balcony felt like it was shaking. His reappearance sparked the loudest cheers I have ever heard at a concert. During the encore, Bugg covered ‘Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)‘ by Neil Young, editing it slightly to suit his metallic edged vocals and bluesy swagger. Jake Bugg ended the concert with his first ever single, ‘Lightning Bolt’, one of his most famous songs, which everyone in the audience bellowed along to.
Overall, a fantastic performance from this 19 year old singer, demonstrating his dedication to classic music. His career shows no sign of slowing down any time soon, and why would anyone want it to?