Gig Review by Zak Edwards with Photography by Bianca Barrett

Jake Bugg

Spoiler Alert!  This review is full of superlatives about the uber talented young man from Clifton Nottingham. Please don’t read any further if this offends you.

Gigs Junkies favourite son, Mr Jake Bugg, who we’ve basically been touting forever (see – we reviewed him here yonks ago) was back, just down the road from his homeland on the West side of the Midlands at the splendid Civic Hall in Wolverhampton.

Jake Bugg

Champagne Supernova preluded the appearance of the main event and helped to launch the crowd into a near frenzy and then in a twist that mirrored his musical style he moved away from anthemic rock to Robert Johnsons Crossroad  Blues in an ode to the country roots which has obviously taken as his own.

Jake Bugg

From the very first chord of ‘Messed up Kids’ kicked off the proceedings it was obvious that Bugg meant business as did the audience. The atmosphere was palpable, nigh on electric.

‘Seen it All’, ‘Storm Passes Away’ and the gloriously catchy ‘Trouble Town’ all passed by without so much as a mid song murmur from the assassin like front man. Not that it mattered a jot. The crowd were in musical heaven. They were lapping it up.

Jake Bugg

Still operating as a three piece, JB and his sidekicks now offer a much bigger sound. Quite frankly its huge.

As he ploughed through his high octane set without so much as coming up for breath, It’s difficult to comprehend that he’s still only twenty. He already possesses a back catalogue of songs, with such a diverse and eclectic mix, that most bands twice his age would be envious.

Jake Bugg

For me he’s like the perfect combination of the Gallagher brothers – combining the the verve, swagger and looks of Liam, together with the musicianship and melodic songwriting talents of his elder brother.

‘Two fingers’ signalled a (nother) massive singalong from the partisan crowd and when he eventually stopped to say thanks and take swig of water, there was an impromptu chant of ‘Na na na na na na na  Jakey Bugg, Jakey Bugg Jakey Jakey Bugg’ to the tune of KC and Sunshine Bands.

Jake Bugg

‘Looking Around in Heaven’ was one of two new tunes delivered by the singer and was a throwback to his acoustic ballad. Melodically excellent displaying a certain vulnerability moving from barely a whisper to his bellowing chorus.

Jake Bugg

When you consider that JB is still only the tender age of twenty, and has come so far in so little time, it’s no exaggeration to claim, that in years to come, he will be touted as one of the countries songwriting greats. Up there with Lennon and McCartney? it’s too early to say, but the diversity of song, quality of lyric and excellence of delivery, this may not be as ridiculously a claim as it first seems on reflection.

Jake Bugg

‘Taste It’ kicked in, a mosh pit appeared  and some comedic Russian Cossack dancing and the obligatory narky lady who didn’t want to move or get involved threw daggers and punches towards anybody who came into eyeshot. Splendid!

Then that was that. No encore was required – when you’ve delivered a show so exemplary, why bother?!

Hudson Taylor

Tonight’s support came from Irish duo Hudson Taylor. Siblings Harry and Alfie armed with their acoustic guitars and band in toe got the crowd nicely warmed up with their bouncy folk-pop accompanied with stunning vocal harmonies. They kind of reminded me of a younger (cooler) version of The Proclaimers with shade of The Everly Brothers thrown in for good measure, all in all they performed a great set and the crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. Following their set I spotted the chaps in the lobby chatting and taking photos with fans. Hudson Taylor will be releasing their debut album ‘Singing for Strangers’ in February 2015 alongside a 22 date UK headline tour of their own.

Hudson Taylor

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