Live review: Jake Bugg at the Old Fruitmarket

Jake Bugg opened his two nights of gigs in Glasgow with a versatile set of old favourites and new tunes, showcasing his four successful albums. Under the arched ceiling of the Old Fruitmarket, the teenage girls and even a few older people were swarming to see Jake Bugg sing his way into their hearts (or the phones close to their hearts).

After a fellow Nottingham-born talent Georgie had warmed up the crowd, the man himself stepped to the minimally set up stage. Wearing his typical black t-shirt and jeans, an apparel I hope has been washed some point during his European tour, Bugg seemed “as fussed as a school kid at bath time”, grabbing the mic and opening the night with a warm welcome from the crowd.

It takes a lot to fill the stage solo, but Jake Bugg does it exceedingly well. As an undeniably talented musician, who knows how to sing and also how to appeal to people (girls), Bugg connected with the audience, who kept chanting “Jakey Bugg, Jakey Jakey Bugg” repeatedly throughout the evening.

Since his 2012 debut album, Bugg has come a long way and justified his foothold in the folk scene. Despite his tender age of 23, he also seems to have developed a genuine thirst for a drink, not that this is noticeable in his performance outside the prolonged sips between songs. However, despite his unquestionable charm, Jake Bugg builds a lot of his performance upon his own fame and charisma, making it seem like he’s overly confident that the crowd will like whatever he plays. This is probably most prominent in the fact that the best song of the evening was close tie between his cover of Neil Young’s ‘Old Man’ and ‘Lightning Bolt’, which he wisely saved to the end of the set.

Despite the set covering a range of old and new songs, there were times when the atmosphere dropped a little and it felt like a more intimate venue could’ve served the ballads such as ‘Broken’ and ‘How Soon the ‘Dawn’ better. With one of the stage lights blinking the whole evening, added to the blue light beaming from everyone’s smartphones, it was occasionally hard to keep the attention fixed on the singer himself.

I shall thank you, Jakey Bugg, for delivering the expected and little more. Thank you so much.

By Suvi Loponen