LIVE // Jake Bugg // The Engine Shed // Lincoln // 03.02.13
After seeing him at the Dot-To-Dot Festival last year, it has been a massive eight months for Jake Bugg who has, as one of his songs suggests, ‘seen it all’; a number one album, support slots for Noel Gallagher and The Stone Roses, and now a sell-out UK tour.
This leg of the tour saw Jake perform in Lincoln, just up the A46 from Jake’s old stomping grounds of Clifton, Nottingham. Hence, a large Nottingham crowd came to Lincoln in force to see their local boy done well.
Amazingly, Jake’s first song ‘Fire’, which sounds as grainy as a record from the 1930's but was actually recorded on his iPhone just over a year ago, stirs up the audience into a rowdy state before he has even got on stage, so when he finally gets on stage, the energy of the crowd just builds and builds throughout the night.
After playing some new material he’s been working on, he starts to play more familiar tracks from his self-titled debut album. ‘Seen It All’ is a thumping anthem, whilst ‘Country Song’ and ‘Someone Told Me’ are folksy ballads which borrow from Jake’s own influences of Don McLean, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. Yet oddly enough, the crowd are still roaring with energy despite the relaxed tone of some of Jake’s songs. This is because Jake Bugg’s music has struck a chord with the working-class male audience who are also fans of Oasis, Kasabian and The Stone Roses. It’s that audience which goes mad for ‘Two Fingers’ and a cover of Johnny Cash’s ‘Walk The Line’, which provided the encore for the evening. Also, due to Jake’s own background (he grew up on a council estate); he writes songs which his audience can relate to.
In terms of a stage presence, Bugg is very workman-like, no nonsense and professional. Like one of heroes, Johnny Cash, he wears a black shirt and trousers. However, he does seem a bit stiff and not very interactive with the audience in-between songs, but perhaps that just serves as a reminder of his age; he is only 18 years old, and maybe he’s still trying to take his new-found fame on-board.
It is clear that Jake Bugg has found his audience and his niche as a popular singer-songwriter. He is still a long way to build his stage presence, but if he carries the sort of audience as seen in Lincoln with him in his career, it looks like he will have a long and successful one.