Jake Bugg Acoustic at Albert Hall: Review

Born in Nottingham, Jake picked up the guitar at the age of 12, and within a year he was composing his own songs, at the age of 18 he was already a platinum-selling artist.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 8 March 2018

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With four albums under his belt even though none of these releases have matched the critical success of his debut album. Six years later Jake is on a solo acoustic tour with tonight’s set at the Albert Hall.

The audience welcomes Jake onto the stage with a rapturous applause. He kicks things off with a song from his new album ‘How Soon the Dawn’. Jake is perched on a chair and dressed in his usual all Black skinny jeans and casual jumper combination. The Albert Hall stage looks so big with only one artist, two guitars and a mic. The 24 year old has the spotlight solely on him. Its music stripped back to its rawest within an intimate setting.

Tonight I’m going to play you ‎some old and some new”

Jake follows with a classic song, ‘Saffron’, from his 2012 debut, to cool down the crowd before beautiful renditions of ‘Strange Creatures’ from his early EP ‘Messed Up Kids’ then straight into ‘Slide’ which everyone is singing along to.

“Cheers, thank you very much, how are you enjoying the night so far?”

Jake stands up from his chair for new track ‘Burn Alone’ which is a more upbeat track and the stage is now lit with coloured lights as he weaves through tracks from the last four albums, including “Me and You”, “Trouble Town” and “Taste It”

“This was one of the first songs I ever wrote” He plays ‘Country Song’ and his vocals are crystal clear and pure with a  bluesy simplicity sound.

Jake is fully warmed up and the Jumper is off, which sparks screams from the fans. The man of the moment then caught out his fans with ‘There’s a Beast and We All Feed It’ by stopping mid-lyric ‘Stop’ before taking a swig of his drink and carrying on. An obvious highlight so far is ‘Broken’ which has the audience echoing Jake’s every word. We are then treated to a rendition of Neil Young’s ‘The Needle and the Damage Done’ it’s a beautiful blend of country, blues and indie.

“I will play something off the new record and then I will play a couple of oldies” ‎

The crowd particularly responded to the fan-favourite tracks from Bugg’s self-titled debut album, with songs such as ‘Seen It All’ where Bugg’s voice is drowned by the sound of hundreds of his biggest fans. Jake Bugg has built a large fan base for himself as they begin their usual “Jakey Jakey Bugg” chants between songs.

“I am coming to the end of the tour now and feeling a little bit of tired but I haven’t finished with you yet though. Thanks for coming out to see me. This is a tune off my new record called ‘Waiting”

He plays ‘Waiting’ which is a slower more romantic song. The song was recorded featuring Noah Cyrus, which would have been a nice addition to tonight’s gig, but tonight it’s just Jake.

“Thank you for coming out to see me. This one is called “Lighting Bolt” enjoy the rest of your night”

There is no Encore tonight. Jake plays straight into the last song the song everyone has been waiting for ‘Lighting Bolt’ his 2012 first single, the standing crowd at the front form a ‘mosh pit’ and everyone is dancing.

The majority of his setlist tonight was made up of his earlier material with no tracks at all from his third album. Tonight Jake Bugg showed off just how far he has come. We are reminded of how talented the 24-year-old Nottingham artist is. It was a strong intimate performance with one of Britain’s best young songwriters.


1. How Soon the Dawn

2. Saffron

3. Strange Creatures

4. Slide

5. Burn Alone

6. Taste It

7. Bigger Love

8. Trouble Town

9. Country Song

10. Someone Told Me

11. Me and You

12. There’s a Beast and We All Feed It

13. Slumville Sunrise

14. Broken

15. The Needle and the Damage Done (Neil Young)

16. In The Event Of My Demise

17.Simple As This

18. Seen It All

19. Two Fingers

20. Waiting

21. Lightning Bolt

Albert Hall, 27 Peter St, City Centre, Manchester M2 5QR
0844 858 8521