Opening with the title track, quite fittingly he was in fact on his one, playing a solo-three-track-introduction consisting of On My One, Strange Creatures and The Love We’re Hoping For before bringing the rest of the band out.
From then on, the crowd livened up and the early show (he started at 815pm, finished at 935pm) was injected with a bit of life. The classics from his self-titled LP such as Two Fingers and Seen It All were given a run out, much to the delight of adoring fans who, to be honest, probably seen him around the city for a couple of quid before being charged £25 for the pleasure of seeing him at Rock City.
Personally, I wasn’t that impressed by 2013’s Shangri La, but when performed live the tracks are full of energy and the quick-witted lyrics flow from Bugg’s tongue excellently. Me and You was beautiful and the crowd embraced it lovingly before On My One’s Never Wanna Dance and Bitter Salt were belted out.
If you have ever been to his home of Clifton, you will totally get the “Stuck in speed bump city” reference in Trouble Town. Having your head smashed off the car roof every five seconds because of the bumps is worth it for Bugg to have a belter of a hit.
Leaving the stage after a Shangri La duo of Slumville Sunrise and Simple Pleasures, the crowd were hungry for more. The usual “One more song” was chanted before the band returned; as if they were ever not going to.
Three songs remained. Gimme The Love from On My One, then two classics that catapulted him to the dizzy height of success he has reached. Scrolling through Twitter leading up to the gig meant I got to see endless videos of Broken – and it was so marvellous to hear it live. Emotional. Raw. Anthemic. A fan favourite and the crowd made that known by screaming the lyrics back at the band.
Would it be a Jake Bugg gig without his biggest hit, Lightning Bolt, on the setlist? Of course not. A modern classic from his number-one debut album, and one that always drives the fans insane. Rock City was no different.
Short and snappy, just like the set, Lightning Bolt was over in sub-three minutes. His no nonsense approach to gigging is something I appreciate. Doesn’t spend ages with stage chat, doesn’t mess about with extended solos and doesn’t over-do the stage design. Sticks to the point and does the job well. Superb.
≈ ≈ ≈
Tickets for the rest of Jake Bugg’s tour are available here.