There’s a lot of fervour about a certain Mr Jake Bugg at the moment.
Having supported the likes of the Stone Roses as well as gigging with (and receiving plaudits from) the singer/song writing legend that is Mr Noel Gallagher you can see why. Now, I’m not one to gloat but the Gig Junkies team have been supporting the wee fella for an age and beyond and quite frankly think that he is rather splendid indeed!
Opening support came from another song-writing chap – this time in the guise of Tom Odell.
Now, I could make up some high-faluted excuse as to how we didn’t make it to see Odell such as ‘we were being chased down the street by a band of giant fish fingers in a tale not dissimilar to an episode of 70’s epic series ‘Day of the Triffids’ and thus couldn’t get to the gig till we escaped, but that would be a lie. The truth of the matter is that we were sat in the pub next door and got the times wrong. Our bad as apparently he was rather decent. Doh!
We therefore got in to see the second support act which came in the guise of the rather dynamic Findlay.
Unsure at first as to whether this was the name of the band or the sultry songstress (or both?), this vernacular quandary lasted for little more than a moment or two as we were engulfed by a ferocious set from the young Liverpudlian.
Offering quirkiness akin to that of Marina and the Diamonds and the rock vocal and attitude of a young Suzy Quattro, Findlay and her glam rock single ‘Your Sister’ are certainly an act to keep an eye on in 2013 me thinks. Good stuff!
With the crowd getting a little restless as to the late appearance of Mr B, a singalong to ‘Supersonic’ got everyone in the mood and following a little pre-gig ‘high five’ type ritual between the songmeister and his two cohorts, they made their to the stage to the obvious delight of the crowd.
Having apologised for ‘cancelling the gig last month’ two things became instantly noticeable. Firstly – the simplicity of the bands make-up. No lead guitar, no backing vocals, just Jake armed for the most part with his acoustic guitar aided and abetted by his two buddies on bass and drums.
Secondly, when you’re at such an intimate venue as the small room at the HMV you really get an idea as to how diminutive he is.
Nothing more than a young man who for the large part looks monumentally out of place up on the stage in front of all of these people – many of whom are at least double his age. That is until he begins to strum his 6-string and starts to sing. The change is almost palpable. From the opening chord and words of ‘Kentucky’ he went from a tiny young man to a colossal whose unique vocal talents, song writing expertise and lyrical genius massively belie his tender years.
Comparisons are already being drawn between Donovan and Bob Dylan to name a few and instantly you can see why.
See, I told you we liked him!
He then treated the crowd to a rollercoaster of a set.
From rocking numbers like ‘Trouble Town’ and ‘Lightning Bolt’ to the simply breath-taking ‘Someone Told Me’ and ‘Slide’ it was near on musical heaven for those who attended as the young man from Nottingham treated you to his unique musical repertoire.
Some gigs are about the light show, some about the swagger of the front man, whilst others about the myriad of musical instruments and effects on offer. Rarely however some gigs – like this one – are about nothing more than the artist and their excellent musical acumen.
We could chuck superlatives out all night about how amazing we think Jake Bugg is and how excellently her performed, but the reality of the matter is that if you’ve bought his album or witnessed him live you’ll know exactly what we mean and if you’ve done neither, you need to do yourself a favour… and do one or the other – preferably both.