Jake Bugg / Cardiff University

This boy's the silent type, and Mike Lewis headed to see him on his biggest UK tour to date

Filed in Jake Bugg, Live Reviews | Date: at | By Mike Lewis

Jake Bugg / Cardiff UniversityThis evening see’s hundreds of Jake Bugg fans swarm to Cardiff University in order to eagerly watch the him headline his first UK tour and first show in Wales since the release of his critically acclaimed debut album.

The past 12 months have been consistently busy for the teen Wonder Jake Bugg, notching up a number one debut album, toured with the likes of Noel Gallagher and The Killers, nominated for a Brit award and has even been spotted in the front row during London Fashion Week.

As we walk towards the venue the first thing we notice is that the touts are not trying to sell us tickets, the gig’s sold out, and there’s talk of tickets selling for £70 each, arguably not bad for an 18-year-old with an acoustic guitar and a handful of songs to his name. Since the release of his eponymous album in October last year, Bugg has become the headliner and no longer the support.

As the lights go down, Cardiff University is packed to the walls as the venue starts to buzz with excitement. When Jake Bugg walks onto stage the Welsh crowd erupt with a welcoming cheer, Backed by a bassist and drummer, he boldly opened with ‘Fire’, a mellow acoustic number, before the audience turn ecstatic.

Demonstrating indie and folk music at its best, Jake Bugg performed crowd favourites from his Taste It EP such as’ Kentucky’ and ‘Love Me the Way You Do’, preceding a crowd-pleasing sing-along of his debut single ‘Trouble Town’.

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Moody lighting and strobe effects helped bring alive the brooding Ballad of ‘Mr. Jones’, and acoustic versions of the heartfelt ‘Someone Told Me’ and ‘Country Song’ were among the night’s highlights.

Despite the brilliance of the show, Jake Bugg is not one for crowd banter, he preferred to let his electric guitar do the talking and undoubtedly saved the best until last in the shape of a scintillating triple-whammy of the brain-naggingly catchy ‘Two Fingers’, ‘Taste It’ and ‘Lighting Bolt’.

After leaving the stage for a brief encore, Jake Bugg returned to a thunderous reaction from the crowd before concluding the show with a unique and unsuspected cover of Jonny Cash’s ‘Folsem Prison Blues’, causing the biggest sing-along of the night.

As the house lights shine signalling the end of the show, his hero Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’ sent the crowd on their way – a nice touch to an amazing show.

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