Jake Bugg’s Intimate Fine Line Performance

Tuesday night brought Jake Bugg to Fine Line Music Cafe for an intimate performance in support of his newest album

JakeBugg FineLine 20171128 01 e1512148536786
JakeBugg FineLine 20171128 01 e1512148536786

Last updated on December 1st, 2017 at 11:31 am

This Dylan-esque crooner drew quite the crowd at the Fine Line Tuesday night. Jake Bugg, a lanky bloke from Nottingham, wiled a folk-loving crew with his coarse vocals, bluesy guitar and wry charisma.

“Two Fingers!” Some guy yelled out, as soon as Jake stepped on stage–the single that put him on the UK charts back in 2012 and arguably his biggest hit. Jake chuckled as he swung his guitar over his shoulder and flashed a crooked grin. “Here’s how it’s gonna go fellas. First I’m gonna play what I wanna play, then I’ll play what you want me to play.”


Safe to say, that set the tone for the show.

For those of you that don’t know Jake Bugg, five years back his debut album went double platinum and he was hailed as “the new Dylan.” He was eighteen years old, mind you. Obviously, a singer-songwriter gem and major talent.

Here we are five years later and he’s still churning out new albums, decent albums, but it’s hard to top that debut. Naturally, the crowd wanted some throwbacks.


And what did he do? He kicked things off with “Hearts That Strain,” a single off his 2017 album, a country-tinged song of regret.

Now, he definitely played some of his oldies–fiery, brambly, brisk tracks about his unruly days of drug dealing on a Nottingham council estate. The kind of songs that leave him winded after strumming the guitar like a madman. He still looks young and spry, but lately, he’s changed out these sprung rhythms for languid, country folk.

Jake’s been veering in a new direction as of late, pushing his stylistic envelope. Slower, more subdued. When working on his latest album, he picked up work with Grammy-winning producers–the kind of names that worked with the likes of Elvis and Aretha Franklin–and recently collaborated with Noah Cyrus (Miley’s younger sister) on the lovesick duet “Waiting,” and Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys on “How Soon the Dawn.”


He’s pushing his stylistic envelope and widening his circle, but there seems to be a creative restlessness. I mean, the guy has been on the road since his late teens, spitting out an album a year. At only 23-year-old, Jake Bugg has ironically come to resemble a more wearied figure, when I listen to his latest work.

But, when a friendly crowd heckled him to play some novice tracks, after some persuasion, he quickly reverts back to the fresh-faced, tousle-haired Jake we know and love. I just hope he can reconnect with that folksy fire on the next one.

Written by Kathleen Ambre

Photographer | Designer | Writer | Chronic Creator


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