Live Review: Jake Bugg // Union Chapel, London

Returning to London’s Union Chapel for the first time in just over four years, Jake Bugg brought a special acoustic show to the capital last week.

By now a seasoned musician, Bugg has travelled a long way since his early shows, having grown accustomed to being accompanied by his backing band on stage, it’s hard to tell how the singer-songwriter, who previously claimed his preference for the songwriting side, will adapt to the solo shows.

Yet from the offset, Bugg masterfully interweaves his way through a set filled with old and new tracks as he kicks off with ‘Hearts That Strain’, the title track from his latest.

Throughout the night Bugg comes across as grounded, the singer that rose to fame in his mid-teens bantering his way through the set as he brings up his “cringy” early music videos and the “boy” that composed his early tracks.

As Bugg waves trough ‘Saffron’, ‘Strange Creatures’ and ‘Slumville’ the venue paints the perfect setting for this intimate show. It’s arching gothic vaults disappearing into the distance along with his voice.

Continuing with ‘Broken’, an offcut from Bugg’s debut, we arrive at Jake’s ‘surprise’, a cover of Danny O’Keefe’s stunning track ‘Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues’.

Transported back top Bugg’s own repertoire, we head off once again with ‘Indigo Blue’ another cut from his latest, written in a lower key so not to upset his (fussy) neighbours.

Closing off the night with the electrifying ‘Lightning Bolt’ Bugg has demonstrated to us that the last five years of almost non-stop touring, recording and writing have paid off. Having become an artist that can captivate and enchant an audience by himself.

As Jake Bugg leaves the stage and sets his sights on the States the only thing that’s left is to wait for Bugg’s return.

Words by 

Author avatar
Richard Lakučs

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