Jake Bugg Review

Sophie Wilson discusses Bugg's gig in Newcastle on Thursday.

Sophie Wilson
17th March 2020
Image: George Boatfield

Jake Bugg played at the City Hall on Thursday, and united fans in their love for him and his guitar, at least in the second half…

Sitting in the audience there was initially a lack of audience engagement from Jake Bugg, and the songs seemed to continuously come with little discussion from Jake himself. The first half of the concert was therefore a little underwhelming. Although this does arguably ground his music as what entices his audience to come and see him, rather than the character of Jake himself, with live music it is essential that the audience feels engaged.

No matter what Jake Bugg concert you go to, however, the songs which will arguably always be the highlights are Lightning Bolt and Simple Pleasures. When the introduction to Lightning Bolt began, the crowd went wild. This came about halfway into the concert, and it was the injection of life that was needed. A song that everyone has heard endless times on the radio, even those who were only slight fans of Jake Bugg would have enjoyed this track. The response was similar when Jake played Simple Pleasures, another popular song of his.

The audience was made up of a wide range of people, and his song Two Fingers seemed to bring humour because of this. With some children in the audience, the slightly rude Two Fingers song seemed to be what united the audience members, who by this point seemed to be dancing in their aisles. With the atmosphere in the room lifted, songs managed to bring the classic phone lights out and families and friends swayed together, evidently enjoying Bugg.

But when the end of the concert came around, the expectation of an encore hung in the room. When Jake played his final song, however, his guitar came off his back and he high fived a few audience members….but then he left. After having gained the audience’s attention, he then left them wanting more. Evidently audience engagement was not the highlight of this concert, although his songs did bring a night of good fun to those who saw him.

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