Tuesday, October 3

Jake Bugg – Edinburgh Playhouse

Bringing my Edinburgh Fringe reviewing to an end for another year (with review number 63!), an absolute belter, five-star performance by Nottingham lad, singer-songwriter and supreme musician, Jake Bugg, at the Edinburgh Playhouse.

An artist that I have known of and heard snippets of over the last ten years, this concert came as a very pleasant surprise, and reminded me that I actually do know loads of his songs, albeit not the names of them! Luckily, I was sitting next to fellow reviewer and big Bugg fan, Eilidh Tuckett from Artmag, who was able to lean over and tell me the names of the songs as they came thick and fast. Thanks Eilidh!

From the very Oasis sounding, Kingpin, from Bugg’s second album to the much softer and more lyrical Hold Tight, his favourite from his fifth album, you can see that Bugg has been on a real musical journey. His latest music is much more reminiscent of maybe Paul Simon, Nanci Griffith, or perhaps early Beatles, it is often stripped back, country and acoustic.

©Kevin Cummins

Crowd favourites, Two Fingers and Lightning bolt got the capacity audience up out of their seats early (and staying up) and giving it the full sing-along treatment. The Playhouse was rocking!  Another crowd-pleaser with a more dance vibe was Lost, with its catchy hook and almost digital soundtrack – which I definitely recognised!

Bugg showed himself to be a very versatile artist, happy to mix genres and ideas, one minute rocking out on the electric guitar with epic solos, and a pumping drum back beat, and the next alone on the stage, with acoustic guitar under a single spotlight.  

My favourite number of the whole set came late on, Simple Pleasures managed to combine an anthem feel with a sensitively delivered lyric which rose and fell and was set against a fantastic pulsing light show of blues and reds perfectly in time with the music. Fantastic!

Reviewer: Greg Holstead

Reviewed: 23rd August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.