HTF were invited to watch Jake Bugg perform in Yeovil, on his current tour of the UK. Being described the millenniums Johnny Cash /Bob Dylan and only the tender age of 18 Jake Bugg has a voice far beyond his years. Sounding more like he’s from Nashville than a Nottingham housing estate we were keen to find out if this lad can live up to his accolade in a live venue.
Looking confident with his boyish youthful looks he enters the stage to old country blues and maintains his position forefront of the stage. Without the gimmicks of flashy backdrops and graphics, and flanked only by his backing band, the only time he moved from position was to switch from acoustic to electric guitars.
Kick starting into ‘Fire’ he certainly sparkes a warmth in the diverse crowd. Apart from the screams of the front row young girls the audience is mainly a young to middle age mix and, by the discussions I heard, their expectations were the same as ours. Playing the entirety of his self-titled album, with a few surprises, he maintained attention throughout the sold out show.
‘Taste It’ and ‘Two Fingers’ keep up the tempo between the ballads, ‘Trouble Town’ and his current single release ‘Seen It All’ were certainly crowd pleasers. Track ‘Lightning Bolt’ also a highlight and had people on shoulders jumping around.
‘Someplace’ was enchanting with Jake introducing it as “probably one of the oldest songs on the album”. Unfortunately the track was interrupted by the crowd alerting that a girl was in trouble at the front. Jake (clearly having to do the security’s job) stopped the song shouting “Can we help this lady out?” and waited until she had been removed before finishing the song to perfection.
‘Someone Told Me’ was hauntingly beautiful with the words really sounding like they came from the heart; “Am I crazy or am I blind, Someone told me I’m out my mind, someone told me a girl I liked fell in love and all I did was cry”. It’s hard to believe how someone so young could have experienced all that he sings about.
As the set concluded an encore of ‘Broken’ had everyone clutching for their lighters and singing along to every word. After thanking the audience for the evening Jake goes on to say “I’m going to leave you with one of my favourite songs” before ending the night with a cover by his main influence, the late, great, Johnny Cash with ‘Folsom Prison Blues’.
To ask what stood out? we would be inclined to say the whole gig stood out. Jake didn’t falter throughout the set and sang from his soul with the vocal quality as if listening to the CD. The boy done good and clearly has a long future ahead of him. Thank god he turned down the advice from a friend to audition for Britain’s Got Talent!
Reviewer & Photographer: Zoe Ellis