Jake Bugg brings hits to Kenwood House
- Credit: William Mata
Ten years since his debut album, those who have only loosely followed Jake Bugg’s career might feel he is ten years past his peak. But the Nottingham singer/songwriter may have won over a few of the less knowledgeable crowd at Kenwood House with a set that showed how far he has come.
Still only 28, Bugg was hailed as something of a successor to Noel Gallagher when his self-titled debut dropped in 2012. To say he is only supporting tonight would diminish his achievements, but from the reaction of the crowd it is the Radio 1-generated hits of the first LP that are still his bread and butter crowd pleasers when not playing to his own fans.
Early songs Two Fingers, Lighting Bolt and Seen It All are still huge indie anthems that Bugg understandably struggled to top or - particularly with the underappreciated third and fourth albums - match. But label change to Sony saw Bugg refocus and come back with his most consistently strong work in Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, the album which reached number three last September.
Live performances have always been Bugg's strongpoint, even when his studio results have met patchy reviews. And although he complained about it getting "harder each year" to sing the early material (maybe from too much drinking to remember and smoking to regret, described in Two Fingers) he is nothing less than on point.
Fitting to his renaissance, it is recent single All I Need that closes the 15-track set (not the Liam Gallagher song of the same name - what an exit that would have been before Noel took to the stage...). And rather than the song of a former wonder kid striving for past relevance it is the sound of a reinvigorated artist with a lot more to offer.