Jake Bugg performs at Camden’s Koko
18-year-old breakthrough artist Jake Bugg, currently on tour to promote his eponymous debut album released on 15th October, picked the suggestive Koko as the location for his London night, and nailed it as he delivered a low-key yet notable performance in front of an enthusiastic crowd last night.
It is true, there were all the makings of a successful concert considering that the young musician has been praised by fellow artists Chris Martin and Noel Gallagher, but to simply rely on critical acclaim would be unfair. Fact is that, deceiving first impressions soon dissolved to make room for a very nice show indeed.
Starting with the more slow-paced songs of his repertoire, Bugg’s concert apparently struggled to take off. In the beginning, the feeling you got was that the music playing was nothing more than a good background to the usual chit-chat over a beer with your friends at the local pub: enjoyable but not catchy enough to fully entertain the audience.
The first half of the gig elapsed quietly with Bugg concentrating on his most relaxed material such as Someone Told Me and Saffron, looking more like a timid version of Alex Turner in his early days.
Then “something is changing, changing, changing … ”, just as the lyrics of Two Fingers say, the concert took a more upbeat direction when the musician changed his acoustic guitar for an electric one and started playing more rhythmical or better-known tunes like Lightning Bolt. The people who’d come to listen to this new sensation hailing from a small town were surely contented, with the front rows happily hopping and singing along and the whole crowd clapping hands to the last songs of a sober performance which finished, after a short encore, in a crescendo.
Drawing comparisons with the career beginnings of legendary artists like Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan may give a clue of what it is to be expected from Jake Bugg, but may also be too flattering for a young musician who is definitely promising but still needs to fully blossom.
Photos: Adam Imiolo
Watch the live acoustic performance of Someone Told Me here: