Original Penguin, Plugged In
Jake Bugg - Live At The Queen Of Hoxton, London

Unless you’ve had your head stuck under a rock for the past few months, you’ll have heard the name Jake Bugg buzzing off everybody’s lips as he has been busy making his name on the festival circuit and hanging out with new best bud Noel Gallagher. The comparisons to Bob Dylan are inevitable, when we first heard his voice on record it was one of those goosebumps moments that our mums and dads probably had when they put on ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’ for the first time, but Dylan has just released his 35th studio album, maybe it’s time he handed over the reigns…

We’re here at the Queen of Hoxton for the first of the Plugged In sessions hosted by Original Penguin clothing. Probably one of the smallest venues we’ll be seeing Jake Bugg at in a long time, in a few weeks he’s off to Europe and then America and Canada supporting his new friend. Regardless of if you grew up on Oasis, or if Blur were more your cup of tea, touring the states with a Gallagher at eighteen years of age is pretty rock and roll, right?

Bugg and his band squeeze themselves onto the small stage, clad in their Penguin gear, and if the bassist isn’t his brother then there’s a milkman in Nottingham with a lot to answer for. Straight into ‘Kentucky’ off his recent EP, this sounds less Dylan , rather Johnny Cash at his finest, fitting as it was the anniversary of his passing just the day before. The band then take a backseat for a song whilst Jake fingerpicks his way through ‘Someone Told Me’, stripped back, his voice really shines and silences the few chatting at the back.

Back with the band, they storm through ‘Seen it All’ from Jake’s forthcoming debut, this is an all out country stomper, close your eyes and imagine being in the Deep South glugging a bottle of whisky and jumping about in your cowboy boots, definitely one of the highlights of his set.

With a voice like this, you wouldn’t expect to be hearing tales of shagging birds and getting pissed, but it isn’t all whisky soaked ramblings as Jake storms into debut single ‘Trouble Town’, mixing the old with the new, presumably an autobiographical take on his growing up on a council estate in Nottingham “there’s a tower block overhead, all you’ve got is your benefits and you’re barely scraping by”.

With not quite the same uproar as Newport back in 1965, Bugg puts down his acoustic to strap on his leccy guitar, and treats us to singles ‘Taste It’ and ‘Lightning Bolt’, which, thanks to Usain Bolt, had an airing at the Olympics and probably had the whole country humming along to its catchy riff.

When we caught Jake Bugg earlier on this year we thought he had the tunes that Miles Kane wishes he could write. Well, Miles is in the audience tonight, let’s hope he’s taking notes! As we leave we hear someone say to their friend “Jake Bugg is the saviour of rock ‘n’ roll.” Sounds about right, Buggin' ‘ell!

Words By Paul Melbourne

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