Posted on Thursday 24th October 2019 at 15:00
Nottingham has always been home for Jake Bugg. That might sound obvious considering the singer-songwriter was born and raised in Clifton, but ‘home’ is more than just geographical.
The city has always supported Bugg and given his music a place to develop and be appreciated. Before his appearance on Glastonbury’s BBC Introducing Stage at the age of 17, he would gig relentlessly around the city, so when he did breakthrough, he was already familiar with many of the venues he would go on to headline time and time again.
Selling out everywhere from The Glee Club to Rock City via The Bodega and Rescue Rooms in just over a year from January 2012 to February 2013 showed exactly why Bugg was one of the most exciting British musicians of the 21st century and when news broke that his new album Shangri La was to follow 2012’s eponymous debut, Bugg was about to top arena bills around the country.
Flash forward to 2016 and Bugg was on the top of his game. Arena tours, festival performances around the world and a new album produced almost entirely by himself, his sights were set on a homecoming show at (the now intimate for Bugg) Rock City.
Recruiting fellow local singer-songwriter Georgie to open the show, Bugg would introduce himself as a solo musician for the opening four tracks before bringing his band on to rattle through the ‘classics.’ With the crowd lapping up every word he crooned, Bugg delved back to his debut LP and pulled out Two Fingers, Trouble Town and Taste It in between Shangri La favourites Messed Up Kids and Slumville Sunrise before leaving the stage to the heart-wrenching Broken.
Integrating tracks from On My One – the aforementioned nearly-self-produced LP – it was as if those inside Rock City had known the tracks for years prior. Less than four months old and already known front to back, tracks from On My One would dominate the setlist, but it didn’t feel as if anything was edged out. If anything there was an appreciation for something new from a crowd that had undoubtedly witnessed Bigg’s brilliance at least a handful of times in the past.
There is an assumption that the ‘local boy made good’ cliché surrounds Bugg in Nottingham, but if you were part of the packed crowd that night, you’d know that this show was more than just turning up to support local talent. It was a celebration of everything Bugg had achieved in the past five years and equally a thank you from him for sticking by for three brilliant records.
Jake Bugg plays Rock City again on 16th November. Tickets are sold out, but you can join the waiting list here.