A new Bugg on the Indie Scene !

Indie | Tuesday 16th July 2013 | Keshav

Forget One Direction! Jake Bugg is UK music’s hottest property at the moment!

It was in the most unusual of places that I discovered teen singer/songwriter Jake Bugg. St Patricks day 2013 , somewhere in the centre of Belfast. After a day of heaving drinking and parties, a small group of friends are throwing a party in the student area of the ‘Holylands’. The party is full of many people who are in a similar position as me - very drunk! - however there are also many who are on drugs and clearly unaware of their surroundings. One lady who is very high and in her forties shouts ‘Put on Jake Buggy ya wee rat!’ After the initial shock at her calling me a rat I proceeded (as stand in DJ) to play the first Jake Bugg video I could find.

‘Two Fingers’ it was called and was a song about saying ‘Fuck you’ to your past. As I listened, I was instantly transported back to the days I spent looking through my father’s old record collection. I instantly thought I was listening to Johnny Cash! It wouldn’t really do Johnny Cash justice to call him one of the greatest singer songwriters of all time. Johnny Cash’s deep country voice had effects far beyond what he imagined. Jake Bugg sings in much the same manner with that same conviction. As the song went on, clear influences from Oasis, The Beatles and Jimmi Hendrix could be heard. Who was this singer ? Why hadn’t anyone heard of him before?

It turns out I was in that small group who had ignored the hype around this teenage sensation. Forget Justin Beiber, Miley Cyrus, One Direction Jake Bugg is driving young music today in Britain.  Born Jacob Edwin Kennedy, to musical parents his influence came from all around him. At the age of 12 he started playing guitar and dropped out of school at 16. What Jake Bugg had that many other didn’t was a supreme amount of skill. The youngster began slightly ambitiously working towards a debut album. Bugg’s talent was instantly picked up. He was widely recognised as 2013’s hottest stars.

There were many like myself who initially dismissed him as just another ‘here today gone tomorrow artists’. How very very wrong.  His self - titled effort was released in 2012. During the process of the album, Bugg discusses how he worked with Red Hot Chillies drummer Chad Smith and Rick Rubin not knowing of their past projects.  ‘ I think it helped not knowing who they really were , I could just kind of do my own thing’. With a stellar production team his debut hit the shelves in October 2012. The album sent critics and fans into raptures as both praised how it was ‘organic’, ‘unique’  and most importantly ‘ a statement which summed up 20 years of British guitar pop’

Bugg is a songwriter who is well beyond his years. His fans include The Clash , Noel Gallagher and The Legendary Stone Roses. The Clash called Bugg a ‘Precocious talent fusing retro folk with blistering contemporary rock riffs’. Impressive to say the least that a boy from Nottingham is making such a large mark in the Indie genre.

Listen to Bugg’s album and songs like ‘Lightning Bolt’ and ‘Two Fingers’ are just the type of angry songs you would expect from a teenager. Bugg however is not the angry, impatient youth of today as beneath lies a sensitive and powerful individual who is capable of producing some of the finest lyrics seen in a long time ‘Broken’ is a perfect example of this

Suddenly after an interview with the Daily Telegraph he was dubbed the ‘East Midlands’ Bob Dylan. It was not a comparison which came without some evidence to back it up. Bugg was flattered by the comparison but later did not list him as a ‘major influence’. The album charted at number 1 and Bugg has been on a relentless touring schedule all year. From Glasto to Isle of White festival the youngster has gone back to where it all began. From a young age Bugg would play in small tents to about a hundred people. This summer he shared the stage with the legendary Rolling Stones. Quite an achievement. Bugg is only 19 and this artist’s very small and fanatic following is getting larger and larger as each day passes. It’s clear he’s just a teenager and loves making music. With album 2 already on its way get ready to see the birth of world star. Bugg’s music is bringing classic British guitar riffs to the forefront of indie rock again. He is single handily leading the British scene right back to the top of the pile.  

Keshav Kapoor