As the evening drew in, Hurricane Gonzalo’s bitterly cold winds made walking to Alexandra Palace in north-west London somewhat more challenging than on a normal day. I’m on my way to see 20 year-old double-platinum selling singer-songwriter Jake Bugg, who’s sold out the biggest standing capacity venue in London at 10,400 people.
The audience in the cavernous building was made up of an older crowd than I’d expected.
There’s always been a buzz around Bugg and tonight is no exception.
Performing songs from debut album Jake Bugg, and second album Shangri-La, Bugg blasted through a set that included singles such as Taste It, Two Fingers and Slumville Sunrise, which were all rapturously received by the audience, singing along to every word.
Bugg’s new song Hold On You is a bluesy-rock song, much like his previous work. It doesn’t stray far from his usual formula of music but at the same time brings something a little new to the table.
His strengths lie in songs like Broken, when he’s alone with his guitar, singing a powerful ballad. To close the gig, Bugg plays first single Lightning Bolt which rounds off the evening in style – he lets the audience sing the first verse by themselves.
The gig was unprecedentedly short, finishing just shy of 10.15pm, despite Bugg having two albums worth of material and perhaps a few tracks from his forthcoming third album to play.
It’s a well-known fact that Jake Bugg likes to keep audience participation and banter to the bare minimum, and prefers the ‘treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen’ approach, only stopping the gig a couple of times throughout the evening to thank the audience for coming.
He’s not the media’s darling and he doesn’t need to be; the music speaks for itself.
Photography by Lauren Towner