Jake Bugg at Marlay Park, Dublin – Review & Photos
Jake Bugg supported Arctic Monkeys at Marlay Park.
Jake Bugg is possibly the most reluctant rock and roll star on the circuit. He’s played Glastonbury three times, racing up the bill from the BBC Introduction Stage in 2011 to headlining to The Other Stage last Saturday night. He won a Q Award for Best New Act in 2013, he’s been nominated for an Ivor Novello award, a BRIT award and several other industry accolades. He’s worked with legends like Rick Rubin, had a number one album in the UK and his music was used at The Olympics last year. Not bad for a twenty year old from Nottingham with no formal musical training.
Tonight he appears not bothered at all as he turns up to thirty odd thousand punters at Marlay Park. Little does he know of the adoration about to greet him. He starts with “There’s A Beast And We All Feed It.” A short, sharp shot in the arm. One minute and forty three seconds of pure, frantic, fifties feel pop.
And so it begins, the Jake Bugg journey of adrenalin laden melodies, fast and furious followed by relaxed serenades of insightful country folk tinged ballads. Childhood memories of Don McClean, Cat Stevens and Clifford T. Ward spring to mind watching this troubadour charm his audience with “Ä Song About Love”. Very little crowd engagement doesn’t affect his followers. They soak up every sentence, whether it’s the upbeat edgy lyrics of “Kingpin” or the isolation of “Simple Pleasures”. His diverse offerings ranging from the knife crime of “Seen It All” to “Slumville Sunrise” with “Speedbump City” urban undertones of desperation to the old fashioned country waltz infused “Storm Passes Away”. That one could be the last tune in a barn dance. The Ivor Novello nominated “Two Fingers” resonates to the core of the crowd as everyone “holds two fingers up to yesterday.” Finishing on his signature sound of “Lightning Bolt”, lashed out lyrics that are hard to keep up with and a set that was just too short.
Jake’s voice evokes a lonesome tone like he’s been here before. Mind you, he’s been the victim of press hype, accused of a premature second album, “Shangri La”. Some said he was pushed up the Glastonbury bill too quickly. Whatever the politics and point scoring, this young fella delivers a performance with depth, integrity and perhaps a little too much professional distance. But he is only twenty. I’ll forgive any kid who can write “A Song About Love.”