LIVE: Jake Bugg, St David’s Hall, Cardiff (5/11/17)

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Jake Bugg, Cardiff, 5/11/17 (photo: Becca Egerstrom)

Another artist who has taken the acoustic option for their latest tour is Jake Bugg. The Nottingham musician released his fourth album Hearts that Strain a couple of months back and wowed his Cardiff fans with what was a very relaxed gig in a theatre-style venue. He was super casual too – just him and his guitar singing and talking.

It was a far from a conventional show, and all the better for it. Bugg was very good at interacting with the crowd, even at times entertaining requests from the back of the room persuading him to do a song on the spot without it having been rehearsed or on the setlist – Country Song was added to the list in this impromptu way.

He even brought forward songs that people wanted to hear that were already on the setlist, jokingly asking the crowd to remind him not to sing it again when it actually appears on the setlist later on.

The stage set-up was similarly low-key, with just a few lights on the floor, and three spotlights from above – in fact, exactly the same as for his support act Georgie – helping to create a very calming atmosphere to match his acoustic songs.

We caught him in October last year with a full band, full of energy and with a bunch of visuals behind him, so it was great to see that he can pull off both styles and appeal to a large audience, whether people prefer sitting in a relaxed environment listening to his acoustic songs or crave the more full-on performance.

In doing a solo acoustic tour like this, Bugg really got to show off that he doesn’t need high production to show off his voice. It’s a natural talent that comes through live every bit as strongly as it does on the album.

Review & photos: Becca Egerstrom

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