Jake Bugg returned to Luxembourg last night to play at den Atelier. Having played at Sonic Visions back in November this was a chance for the English singer-songwriter to headline his own show in the Grand Duchy.
There was a decent turn out for the show though he was perhaps hampered by the gig falling on a holiday weekend. Those who were there were treated to really good show.
Beginning the show alone on stage he started with “The Love We’re Waiting For”, a track from his new album, before playing two hits from his debut, “Country Song” and “Simple As This”.
Bugg has been keen to expand his sound and the full band then joined him on stage for another “older” one. Donning his electric guitar he knocked out a raucous version of “Two Fingers” before really turning up the volume with “Bitter Salt”, the best song from his latest record On My One.
This was very much the Jake Bugg show with the singer standing front and centre and the band pushed as far back to the edges of the stage as possible but the often grumpy star seemed in good spirits, thanking an audience member who professed her love before launching in to the country influenced “Me And You”.
The crowd were obviously loving it, each song song ended with rapturous applause, cheers and whoops, and while there was a bit of a lull in the pace from Bugg as the gig reached it’s half way point he ramped things up with “Trouble Town” which had everyone dancing and produced a huge roar from the audience.
“Kingpin”, from his second record Shangri La, is a song that’s made to be played live and is the closest thing to an all out rock song that Bugg has written to date, it goes down a storm but there’s something really amusing about his delivery and reaction to the crowd. As much as he seemed happy to talk between songs you have to wonder if he’s actually enjoying himself. he stands still and perfectly upright on stage, whether it’s a slow ballad or a foot stomping blues number he sings the song and that’s it.
I’m not hear to tell him how he should do things and the audience were very clearly in to his performance but I just thought it was strange that no matter how much he made the crowd dance there was never more than a nod of the head from the man himself. “Taste It” had everyone going and he sounded great throughout, vocally and musically, but come on Jake, try and enjoy it yourself a little bit.
It’s a small quibble with what is a remarkably professional show. He is a fine guitarist and takes a few opportunities to show off his skills with his solo to end “Simple Pleasure” a particular highlight and as I said, vocally he is spot on all night.
As the show nears it’s end the band leaves the stage once again leaving Bugg alone to play “Broken”, a slow number that the audience observe impeccably, joining in to sing along towards the end.
It’s a nice moment but he’s played enough shows at this stage to know how to send a crowd home happy, the penultimate song is a thumping rock cover of 70’s disco number “Going Back To My Roots” that sets everyone up nicely for the knockout punch that is “Lighting Bolt”.
It’s a smashing end to a highly polished show and as the singer from Nottingham thanked the crowd he seemed genuinely touched by the reception he had received from the Luxembourg audience.
Why not check out our interview with Jake Bugg?