Last night was Jake Bugg’s final night at the Brixton Academy. His three-night stint was entirely sold out. Completely worth it.
I had been waiting to see Bugg for almost six months when I received the tickets for my birthday. To be honest, the anticipation was completely anticlimactic.
We arrived only in time to see opener honeyhoney (some idiotic American country/folk band that sings shit like “I ain’t no Southern Belle” and “I like whiskey when I’m sick. A man when I’m well.”) Thankfully their set went by quickly enough.
Now Mr. Bugg. The boy is 19-years-old and has the charisma of a piece of bark, but there’s still something about him that drove a packed house wild.
Some of his critics have whined that he needs to have a stage presence. That’s not what he needs. What Jake Bugg has that most musicians do not is two things. One, he is completely honest and still void of idiotic fame. And two, his music is still relatable to his listeners. It’s a trait is that is nearly dead. Musicians are so caught up in their own worlds they forget about the one they share.
The sound from the band last night was the best quality I have heard from any live act. Seriously. Bugg’s voice had the ability to soar straight through the crowd. Let’s hope he takes care of it so it ages more like Robert Smith and less like Dylan’s.
The setlist included favorites like “Lightening Bolt” and new singles “Slumville Sunrise” and “What Doesn’t Kill You.” The nicest surprise of the night came one song before the finale:
A lovely cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My.” Most of the audience seemed oblivious to the American songwriter’s tune, but you could tell the crowd was enamored. Guess how many of those kids will go home and unearth Neil Young in the morning?
The night was amazing. The venue was okay. But in the end, I’d say that Jake Bugg has all it takes to become important – he just needs to grow into his boots. Personally, I can’t wait to see what’s next.