Review: Jake Bugg at Alexandra Palace, London (21/10/2014)

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The last date of Hudson Taylor’s second tour with Jake Bugg ended at Alexandra Palace in North London. Being a historical entertainment venue, Ally Pally accommodates the excited crowd of the night perfectly. The venue was quite densely filled by audiences even before the first support act come on stage and it filled to the brim as the night proceeds.

Misty Miller walked on stage with a grunge look, she could not have departed more from her sweet delicate self as she appeared at her Burberry Acoustic session back in 2010, the first time I ever came across her music. From blonde to brunette, her musicality has changed massively; she is no longer strumming a ukulele but rocking a guitar with her now evolved strong voice. With much more depth and maturity in her voice, she ventured into the world of bluesy rock. ‘Happy’ and closing number ‘Best Friend’ were extra memorable for me that night. Although not too warmly received by the crowd relatively, it is still apparent some of them did enjoy her set. Having started her music career back when she was sixteen and still going, there is something special in Misty Miller that a music lover can appreciate.

Irish brother duo Hudson Taylor, energetic as always, graced the stage effortlessly with their impeccable harmonies and stomping melodies. Harry Hudson Taylor was absolutely right about seeing some familiar faces again in our interview earlier on before the start of this tour, as audiences cheer them on between each changeover of the songs and join in belting out the songs as soon as they recognised the melodies. The enthusiastic crowd’s singing back to the duo constantly echoed the room. From the heartfelt questioning of ‘World Without You’ and emotional ‘Weapons’, to fast paced ‘Chasing Rubies’ and very up tempo ‘Battles’, through vigorous strumming of the guitar and sometimes the violin, Hudson Taylor delivered a very enjoyable experience for everyone. The duo had a lot of variety in store for the lucky audience at the sold out show, Alfie sang through a megaphone at the start of ‘Wildfires’ and it sparked up the liveliness even further. Hudson Taylor had accomplished another successful tour with an excellent ending, their biggest headline tour in February 2015 is definitely going to impress again.

Jake Bugg is the most solid, honest musician I have seen live. He is by no means a performer, he strums his guitar without much body movement, slow pacing around stage at most and only speak to thank the crowd and a very minimal background information to the song he was going to play next. His extremely calm and collected demeanour was in stark contrast with how very excited and electrified the crowd were. Opening his set with ‘Messed Up Kids’, he sent the crowd into a roaring chant. Continuing to tumble eardrums and the room with his brilliant guitar skills, the heat in Ally Pally kept building up. ‘Down The Avenue’ and ‘Country Song’ ,which Bugg did on his own on the stage acoustically were absolutely stunningly beautiful. The songs demonstrated Bugg’s minimalist perfection to the greatest. Another aid to this great night was the lighting of the venue, the effects accompanied the songs very nicely and set the tone for the night so well. There are no doubt Bugg’s songs appealed to a wide range of audience upon viewing the crowd filling the venue, with young people belting out every word to more mature audience clapping and bobbing their head along to every beat; Bugg’s undeniable talents are well recognised. The night ended on a high note with ‘Lightning Bolt’, the song that most people knew him from. A mosh pit was instantly formed the moment the first note kicked in, part of the crowd were obviously very high spirited from the night’s great music.

Bugg ended the whole night by simply thanking the crowd and wishing everyone a good evening before walking off the stage. There were no planned encore return, which I found many live shows seemed to form a habit of doing these days, only to have the artist walked back a few minutes after to play one or more preset songs. Jake Bugg maintained his honest and frank attitude, making him an even more admirable musician on top of his indisputable flair.

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tea & coffee fueled lifetime music fanatic and avid gig lover

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