Sunday, November 24, 2019

My Own Little Shangri La

So. Picture this... It's October 2015, and early teen-me is eager and raring to go to her first non-parentally supervised concert - Jake Bugg at Liverpool's Echo Arena. (If were talking proper first gigs, mine was The Black Eyed Peas - a not so guilty, guilty pleasure).

 I remember it being such a euphoric, ethereal, magical experience, and I can pin-point that as the day I fell truly in love with music, and I haven't looked back since.

For Fans Of: The Strypes & Mumford and Sons

Fast forward a whole half a decade, and I'm Jake's photographer for his Manchester gig - and it's freaking surreal.

~Talk about a dream come true~

During that five year hiatus, Bugg has since released two more albums - On My One and Hearts That Strain, which was produced by the genius behind The Black Keys, Dan Auerbach - joining his roster which also includes talents such as Lana Del Rey and Cage The Elephant.

At just 25, Bugg has a hell of a lot of notches on his belt of a musical career- his single 'Simple As This' being featured on the soundtrack for The Fault in Our Stars, having Chili Peppers' Chad Smith work the drums on some of Jake's earlier tracks, winning NME's best solo artist award, and best new act in 2013 at the Q awards. More recently, the video for 'Be Someone' has been nominated at the UK music video award for Best Dance Video.


Rabbit Hole
Trouble Town
There's a Beast and We All Feed It
Kiss Like The Sun
Ballad of Mr Jones
Simple As This
Me and You
Messed Up Kids
A Song About Love
About Last Night
Burn Alone
Lightning Bolt
Livin' Up Country
Taste It
Slumville Sunrise
Seen It All
Simple Pleasures
Two Fingers

Jake played tracks mainly from his first two album (with no complaints from me) along with the debut of some new songs he has in the works for us (keep a keen eye out). He kicked off the show with high energy, adrenaline infused tracks Trouble Town and There's a Beast and We All Feed It - perfectly hyping up the crowd for the rest of his performance.

The lyrics of his ballads echoed throughout the Academy, reverberating back to Jake and leaving a smile on his seemingly un-ageing face, prompting him to even do a second verse of Lightning Bolt.

Bugg has truly mastered the art of delivering a sombre, tender ballad - with a dimly lit room, a spotlight focusing only on him and his acoustic, and torches and arms in the air, had fans swaying to melodic sounds of plucked strings and perfectly rehearsed vocals. A Song About Love and Me and You, evoke feelings of heartbreak and sorrow - you can feel the emotions through the lyrics he writes, and to be able to do that as an artist is truly magical.

The feeling of complete euphoria induced by overwhelming nostalgia is incredibly hard to beat, the wonderment and amazement at how time has seemingly, so effortlessly slid through our fingers like sand. Five years ago feels like yesterday, but a whole other lifetime ago completely simultaneously, the concert left me feeling reminiscent of my early teenage years, cramped into small venues to watch my favourite up-and-coming bands in the flesh, I think I'll always be an indie girl at heart.

Being able to see Jake live again, was simply a pleasure, and unarguably one of the best nights of my life.

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'til next time...

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