Live Review – Jake Bugg (Liverpool Echo Arena 18/10/14)

How to silence critics in just over 90 minutes.

The morbid on stage presence of Jake Bugg has been previously well-debated, and having seen him once last year I couldn’t help but identify with those who felt there was a lack of energy in his performances. Last night in the Echo Arena, however, he proved myself and a lot of others wrong.

Ok, so there was no head-banging or crowd-surfing, and there is still an argument whether he could crack the odd smile between songs – but what is for certain is that the skill of this still very young artist is phenomenal. Beginning with “Messed Up Kids” and working his way through the pick of both his self-titled first album and 2014’s “Shangri La”, he showcased a faultless vocal performance as well as incredible guitar solos which are an asset you imagine could be utilised in giving him a fighting chance of some longevity beyond this tour. These solos must simply have to appear on his next album.

Bugg played a new song, “Looking Down The Avenue”, which we are bound to here much more of, as part of an acoustic set; which turned a huge arena into an intimate venue temporarily. The absence of “Green Man” and “Pine Trees” made the set shorter than some would have liked, however there won’t have been any complaints at the content of the set.

Personally, I didn’t have myself down as a fan of “Shangri La”, however, what’s certain is that the live performances of songs from it are very special. The exciting part, as already mentioned, is that he’s 20 years of age with an abundance of talent, meaning he has so many albums yet left in him. I’m starting to think that his touch of arrogance is entirely justified.

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