LIVE REVIEW: Jake Bugg impresses in forest show

Jake Bugg at Sherwood Pines, Mansfield, United Kingdom on 23 June 2016. Photo by Glenn Ashley Photography
Jake Bugg at Sherwood Pines, Mansfield, United Kingdom on 23 June 2016. Photo by Glenn Ashley Photography

It’s been four years since Jake Bugg burst onto the music scene and it’s easy to forget the Nottingham-born star is still only 22.

Now promoting his third album his highly-anticipated show at Sherwood Pines was his first on home soil for almost two years.

And while the crowds eagerly anticipated his arrival, it was far from a grand entrance.

No light shows, no dry ice, no build up of music.

In fact, he shuffled onto the stage like an awkward teenager, dressed in a cheap black T-shirt, jeans and trainers, like he was still coming to grips with his fame.

It was a slow but confident start to his set, just him and his guitar with Simple Pleasures and title track to his recently-released album, On My One.

Only when he burst into debut-album favourite, Two Fingers, did the paying public really begin to warm up.

Much of the crowd was made up of 30-somethings (like myself) but it was refreshing to see so many young teenagers out in force, suggesting guitar music still has a place for the future generations.

And as the night grew, so did our hero’s confidence.

His singing has always been pitch-perfect live, and while some have criticised his voice claiming it to be nasal and often whiny, it is unique and sounded superb blasting from the festival-sized speakers.

Coupled with that was his guitar playing as he shredded his way through some of the faster tracks, adding extra solos and licks with ease.

It was obvious Bugg was keen to cram in as many of his new tracks as possible, perhaps in reaction to the recent criticism dished out about him sharing song-writing responsibility with a team of professionals for his first two albums.

These latest songs are all his own, and it’s clear he wanted to show off what he could do.

Well, the boy’s done good.

The only criticism for the night was that he left his adoring public waiting for an encore that never came.

But like the shy boy-next-door who shuffled on stage at the start of the night, he left in the same way.

How rock ‘n’ roll. I’m sure we’ll all be there again the next time he comes back home anyway.