While Stuart was checking out Paloma Faith in Bournemouth, I had the pleasure of photographing Jake Bugg at the 02 Guildhall in Southampton as part of his solo acoustic tour which started in October 2017 and has continued into 2018 with a short break in between. The tour coincides with the release of his fourth album ‘Hearts that Strain’.
Most of you will be aware of Jake, who burst onto the music scene as an 18-year-old back in 2012 with his self-titled debut album which reached number one in the album charts. Quite remarkable for a guy that only started playing the guitar 6 years previous and which has seen him so far work with artists such as Chad Smith (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) and Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys).
Jake was being supported on this leg of his tour by a new and upcoming artist by the name of Georgie. After reading Stu’s interview with her I was keen to get to the gig early to catch Georgie’s set. Georgie took to the stage with only her electric guitar for company and at first reminded me of a young KT Tunstall.
Georgie proceeded to play songs from her recently released EP ‘Too Much TV’ proving that her choice to take up the guitar and not the football pitch was the right one. Her powerful voice drew the attention of the crowd with a great reception being received after every song. A cover version of The Ronettes ‘Be My Baby’ was also thrown into the mix half way through her set although she was sporting a sore throat and (in her own words) was self-medicating this ailment with whiskey! Be sure to check Georgie out on social media and also give her EP a listen.
The stage was taken by Jake around 9 pm much to the delight of the crowd and more so the mini ‘fan club’ that had set up camp on the barrier at the front. Dressed all in black and under a spotlight, the set would see him play an array of his music covering all four of his albums. Starting out with the melodic ‘How Soon The Dawn’ from the recent album followed by renditions of ‘Saffron,’ ‘Trouble Town‘ and a favourite of mine ‘Slumville Sunrise.’
‘Broken’ provided a 5-minute period when you could have heard a pin drop in the vast Guildhall and one which also provided an amplified vocal response from the crowd.
Some small talk ensued between tracks with Jake being asked how many guitars he had as the guitar tech was passing these back and forth to him; ‘Just The Two’ Jake replied in a very ‘un-rock n roll’, modest way. During the set, there was a constant shout from a guy for requesting the song ‘Two Fingers’ with Jake duly obliging towards the end of the set.
Those in attendance were thanked for coming out on a Sunday night; the set was then rounded off with ‘Waiting’ a track that usually features Noah Cyrus (the younger sister of Miley) and ending with the crowd pleaser ‘Lightening Bolt’ sending the crowd home on a high.
This was only the second time that I’d had the pleasure of seeing Jake live and left the gig with the need of wanting to revisit his back catalogue once more. Jake, if you’re reading this, and I’m sure I speak for most at the gig, we’ll take you up on your offer and definitely have you back next time with the full band.