Jake Bugg at Camden AssemblyCultureMusicLive music
You would probably expect more of a grand entrance from a Mercury Prize and BRIT Awards nominated, chart-topping, critically acclaimed, double-platinum singer-songwriter currently promoting their third studio album. But Jake Bugg began his intimate 40-minute set at the Camden Assembly by merely calmly walking onto the stage and beginning to play his acoustic guitar with little fanfare and fuss from himself. This was heavily juxtaposed against the sudden eruption from the crowd who instantly (once they had noticed him) began screaming and cheering his name.
But if his stage presence was decidedly low key, then his dexterity with the instrument and strong vocals were a good contrast. Opening with the lead single On My One from his new album of the same name, Jake led the show with performances from across his entire discography. Trouble Town had the crowd moving and the beautiful Love, Hope and Misery, a standout track from his latest record showed that his music is changing but still maintains the introspection that made him a chart topper at only 18. The gorgeously sung Me and You had the whole room singing along and alongside Strange Creatures was perhaps the highlight of the night and most engaging to the audience.
Having recently wrapped up gigs in Italy, Switzerland, the US and Mexico this year, seeing Bugg at Camden Assembly, a modest-sized pub in Camden with capacity for maybe 200 people or so, might have seemed a bit out of place given his high profile. But this discreet setting was part of an exclusive event with Dice, a ticket selling app, to raise funds for music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins.
Perhaps it might be an intentionally affected moody indie rock and folk demeanour but, to be honest, whilst Bugg is obviously confident and at home on stage, he genuinely doesn’t seem to like revelling in the showmanship of it all. The small venue of the Camden Assembly seemed perfect for Bugg’s non-boastful style. Even when he displayed his considerable guitar-playing skills, he still seemed humble and, after showcasing his talents, would meekly move on to the next song with little talk in between.
Ending the set with Lightning Bolt, Bugg closed the show with a simple “thank you” and a nod to Nordoff Robbins, leaving the stage as he entered: without a fuss.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information about Jake Bugg and future events visit here.
Watch the live performance of Me and You here: