Music Reviews

“All His Success Signifies What He Has Accomplished Before Coming Home” – LIVE Review: Jake Bugg @ Rock City

Alice Busvine

Music phenomenon Jake Bugg has come home to Nottingham to take Rock City by storm with his new album, “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning. Ten years after the release of his debut album, Jake Bugg’s latest performance displayed how he has managed to make such an imprint onto the British music scene, and how he’s kept orchestrating his audiences through tracks floating from the sombre and acoustic to a pure rock sound.

It was an early start at Rock City tonight, with Bugg’s supporting act Vistas on at seven (the earliest I had arrived to Rock City for a long time…). And so, as I headed to the venue still in sunlight I couldn’t help but be reminded of, and get excited for, the summertime gigs that are awaiting us – not freezing in the queue whilst you wait in the cold, not needing to shove a jacket in the cloakroom the minute you’re in there … It was, unfortunately, still freezing, but the atmosphere of the venue was certainly enough to elevate anyone’s mood and I was glad to step inside and into such an excited crowd.

The band Vistas were on tonight to support Bugg as they have been doing for the rest of his “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning tour“. I was glad of their incorporation onto the tour, having heard some of their tracks beforehand I knew they promised an enjoyable performance. As soon as their set started up, I was sure that they were the perfect choice to support Bugg on his country-wide tour. The Scottish band were headed up by singer Prentice Robertson on vocals and completed with Dylan Rush on guitar and Jamie Law on Bass. Their sound was a perfect warm up for the crowd, filling the venue with their alternative tracks which balanced indie rock and a playful charm in a way I feel Jake Bugg’s music also achieves.

I had expected him to turn up in his signature t-shirt, guitar in hand, and I was not disappointed

Upon Bugg’s entrance to the stage the set-up was simple, mirroring the singers own minimalistic look. It was nothing less than what I had expected having had a quick look over his social media beforehand. I had expected him to turn up in his signature t-shirt, guitar in hand, and I was not disappointed. Perhaps it is Bugg’s simplicity which gave him such an edge and enabled him to become a young phenomenon back in 2012 after his self-named debut album. Instead of any obvious focus on decorative and dramatic stage effects, Bugg let his unique voice and songs speak for themselves. His acoustic tracks in particularly showcased the artists raw and unpretentious talent.

The more acoustic folk sound is certainly synonymous with the singer’s tracks. A song that especially stood out for me was Hold Tight, the penultimate song of the night. The song circles around the idea of time moving too quickly in the slower and more gentle tone Bugg’s tracks often drift too. Knowing this will be my last few months at the University of Nottingham, I felt it struck a particular chord in me and, perhaps, the rest of the crowd. Perhaps to Bugg, playing such a song in his hometown after all his success signifies what he has accomplished before coming home, whilst for me, it was a reminder of how I was soon to be leaving.

the atmosphere soon bounced from one of a sombre nature to one that felt positively lively and electric

But besides the slower songs Bugg did not fail to rock the venue with his more upbeat tracks. Having primarily known Bugg to specialise in acoustic guitar, I was surprised to see how successful he was able to dip into his rock-n-roll side with bold and complex guitar riffs. This in turn caused delight amongst the crowd, as the atmosphere soon bounced from one of a sombre nature to one that felt positively lively and electric. Tracks such as Slumville Sunrise and All I Need caused particular uproar (and even the occasional mosh pit) from the crowd.

Not only did All I Need provoke such uproar because of Bugg’s performance but as a result of the accompaniment of singer Joy Farrukis who performed backing vocals. Her voice elevated the song, adding in an element of soul to leave the crowd on a good note. The song perfectly finished off the night.

The “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning tour will continue around the UK before heading abroad next month – so catch it if you can! If not, make sure to check out the album on Spotify to hear how the young Nottingham artist has developed his musical sound.

Alice Busvine 

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image courtesy of @jakebugg via No changes were made to this image.

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