Jake Bugg at the RoudhouseCultureMusicLive music
In his last UK gig before heading off on his US tour, Jake Bugg arrived on stage to a half-filled Roundhouse in Camden.
Trouble Town and Seen It All received appreciative applause and, soldiering on, Bugg shed his signature dark jacket to strip things back for Simple As This, which emphasised his raw, raspy voice.
While the audience turned their attention to a boisterous fight breaking out in the crowd, Nottingham’s answer to Bob Dylan wasn’t deterred in delivering the lamenting Country Song.
At a point in the night when things felt slightly awkward and people were filtering in and out of the main stage room, Bugg pulled the crowd in with Broken. Both beautiful and haunting, with equal measures of passion and delicacy, it became the highlight moment for this tough crowd.
With forgettable versions of Someplace, Kingpin and Taste It, Bugg brought everyone to life again with Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record Two Fingers. Resulting in a mass sing-along, even those sitting down having a drink and a chat could not resist jumping onto their feet.
Continuing the pace with Slumville Sunrise and the Neil Young cover Hey Hey, My My, Bugg manages to command most of the room and keep the Roundhouse bouncing along to his back-to-roots guitar and vocals.
The widely popular Lightning Bolt ended the night on a different note to how it began, and Bugg appeared to thoroughly enjoy himself during it, satisfied that he was nearing the end. Thanking the crowd and acknowledging the lacklustre support with “I think you might have had free tickets”, he leaves.
Tonight wasn’t a great example of how appreciated the Clifton lad’s talents are, but that doesn’t diminish them. There is no denying Bugg’s talent and ability, often alluded to in comparisons with Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. Yet tonight shows he has a way to go before amassing such a similar following.
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Watch the video for Broken here: