Photo credit: Jessie Lirola.
Remember when Jake Bugg was hailed as the next Bob Dylan when he was 18? I do, and I remember buying his first album on the day of its release after seeing an advert for it on Spotify. I – going through a significant Gallagher brothers phase – thought Bugg looked a bit like Liam Gallagher and that alone was enough to sell me. His eponymous debut album reflected upon his adolescence being a “poor boy” from Nottingham – although that phrase is ripped from the third album – I suppose all of his albums talk about his origin story in some way. His music alternates between British-Tennessee country ballads and – supposedly – “Hendrix-inspired” tonal power rock. Bugg sticks two fingers up to society and those that expect him to behave accordingly. It’s all quite rebellious, you can see why a lot of people were drawing comparisons to Bobby D.
It came as a big surprise when Jake released his fourth album Hearts That Strain this year; firstly, I didn’t expect him to release two consecutive albums on the trot, after the 3-year hiatus between Shangri La and On My One. With a tour set to be underway and consistency of new music being released, the now 23-year old is ready to explore different sounds from different, countries and US states. Bugg has also recently started to collaborate with other musicians, most recently Noah Cyrus, to deviate away from the working-class Nottingham teen image that was his oeuvre on his first three albums.
I first saw Jake Bugg in Birmingham in 2013, and even then, it was evident to me that Bugg, was a teenager just like me. Albeit, a remarkably talented one. I’m curiously looking forward to seeing him perform again almost 5 years later to see how he’s matured as a musician and to reflect on the complexities of life from being a youngster to eventually transform into an adult. It’ll be a sentimental one for me personally, but for the rest of the musos considering going to the gig – it’ll be one of candid music, etching with societal reflection.