On the 5th May 2016, Jake Bugg played two (short) shows at the Kingston Hippodrome (courtesy of the mighty Banquet Records) in support of his latest album, “On My One”, which is out on the 17th June 2016. I was lucky enough to see him play an intimate acoustic “all-ages” set, with only a handful of other lucky fans early in the evening. He also played a later, full band show as part of an 18+ “New Slang” club night.
Bugg played for a meer 40 minutes, yet managed to cram hits from all three of his albums. He was originally planning to play the earlier set in the record store, however demand for tickets meant an upgrade in venue- which Bugg suggested, upon acknowledging the weird “night club setting”, was all a bit “strange” for everyone. The dynamics of the venue only aided the set though, in my opinion, and made for a memorable show for all.
Bugg opened with “On My One” from his latest album of the same title. It’s very rare to find me not singing along at a concert, but something about the way he sang the song (in all its slightly melancholic and hauntingly memorable ways) intertwined with how crisp his voice sounded caused me to feel totally shocked, amazed and totally in awe of his compelling set. It was like listening to it on a record.
Muttering little but “thank you” in between songs, Bugg also played a selection of songs from his new album release, for this was an album release show. He suggested that he “had to play” the new songs, but ensured they’d play songs from the other albums on tour later this year (this is obviously very exciting as it means he’s touring again soon). There were two or three previously unheard, newer songs, as well as a special acoustic rendition of the last single “Gimme the Love”, which was quite spectacular.
In saying this, Bugg also squeezed in songs from his two previous albums (“Jake Bugg” and “Shangri La”). He played all the hits, from “Slumville Sunrise” to “Lightening Bolt”. Bugg closed with “Lightening Bolt”, arguably his biggest hit to date, which people (despite it being an acoustic set) still managed to mosh to. This was fascinating to see.
Overall, Jake Bugg is well worth seeing live (whether it’s a full band show or an acoustic, like this) and is extremely captivating to watch. His voice is almost always perfect and always a welcomed contrast to his slightly grumpy exterior. It’s always a pleasure to see Jake Bugg (for he’s the real reason behind this whole “music journalism” thing in the first place) and hopefully I’ll be able to see him later on during the year with his full band. He’s also playing a handful of festival dates dotted all over the place, including the prestigious Glastonbury (which he’s played before).