The queue as I arrive at the O2 Academy in Leeds is snaking right around the building as singer-songwriter Jake Bugg brings his latest tour to Yorkshire. Now, I have to say that I find the Jake Bugg story absolutely fascinating. Barely in his twenties, the Nottingham singer-songwriter is touring in support of his third album, On My Own and can count musical heavyweights such as Rick Rubin and Red Hot Chili Peppers Chad Smith amongst his pals, and that’s not forgetting the two thousand fans who are literally crammed into the O2 Academy and singing along to every word.
With the early few songs of the set limited to just Bugg, his acoustic guitar and a spotlight two things stick in your mind. Firstly, how utterly emotionless the Nottingham youngster looks on stage with barely a flicker of emotion showing on his face as, in front of him, a couple of thousand teenagers sing along to the likes of “Strange Creatures”. Secondly, and most importantly, Bugg has an incredible voice and makes it sound like it just you and him.
The set kicks up a gear as Bugg brings out his band another fifteen songs including “Bitter Salt” and “Simple Pleasures” before the main set comes to a close with Bugg treating the Yorkshire crowd to a stunning rendition of hit single “Broken”. It’s at this moment that you realise why, all over the world, venues are packed when this unassuming twenty year-old Nottingham musician comes to town.