hmv reviews… Jake Bugg @ London's Royal Albert Hall
Now a bona-fide arena headliner and with some huge festival slots planned over the summer, Jake Bugg played a relatively intimate gig at London's Royal Albert Hall on Friday (February 21st) and we were there to review it…
Jake Bugg, the ferocious and precocious 19 year old from Nottingham.
Royal Albert Hall, one of the UK capital's oldest and most prestigious venues.
Any good supports?
Nope. Jake Bugg walked on stage at 7.30pm and departed at 10.15pm, no support required. But there were a couple of special guests…
Who? Tell me! Who?
Alright, alright. First up was singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka, who came up and played his tracks 'Worry Walks Beside Me' and 'Tell Me A Tale' with Bugg. Then, just as the set was drawing to a close, Johnny Marr (he was in this tiny little band called The Smiths…) came out to play 'Kingpin' and 'Slumville Sunrise' with the singer. They both came both at the set's end to help Bugg drive the closing 'Lightning Bolt'.
So what was the rest of the set like? What did they play?
It was a full two and half hours, complete with a half hour interval. Bugg started off on his own on acoustic guitar for around 40 minutes before returning with a band (and occasionally Marr and Kiwanuka) after the interval. Given Bugg's only got two albums to choose from, there's not much he didn't play really. In terms of what sounded great, 'Troubled Town', 'Taste It' and 'All Your Reasons' sounded particularly huge.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
Slammed full, completely sold out. The crowd went a bit hesitant, especially during the show's first half, but they sounded warmed up as soon as things got electric.
Any good between song banter?
Almost nothing. He's not much of a talker is Jake; he grunted thank you a couple of times and introduced his guests. Nothing more was required to be fair.
Did he put on much of a show?
You can't do much with the Royal Albert Hall really, but he didn't try either, just a big old background.
What was the highlight of the set?
He kicked off his encore 'Broken', backed by a full choir, which was quite something, but the ultimate highlight was probably 'Two Fingers', which got the whole place on its feet.
Where can I catch him next?
He's about to head off to Australia, but before that he has a slot at BBC 6Music's new festival in Manchester. The next time after that will most likely be this summer's Reading and Leeds Festivals…
Jake Bugg's new album Shangri La is out now, you can preview it by clicking on the icon on the right-hand side of the page.