Jake Bugg, O2 Kentish Town, 06/04/22

Despite his early-stage time of 7:20 pm (doors opened at 7 pm), Luke Royalty managed to attract a committed and engaged crowd, his bedroom-pop synths and sun-drenched guitar rifts bringing an uplifting warmness to the room. 

A mix of Easy Life and early Jamie T, Luke Royalty’s easy charisma and heartfelt vocals hooked the crowd from the very start right to the end of his set, his band and different singers he introduced to play with him, all appeared to be genuinely enjoying their time with him. 

Up next was indie-pop trio Vistas, again another huge hit with the crowd who sang and danced along to the upbeat, catchy, fun songs, enticing verses leading up to their signature big choruses, the Scottish twang on the vocals making them even more alluring.

And then came Jake. 

On the final night of his UK tour singer, songwriter Jake Bugg took to the stage of a packed out O2 Kentish town, opening the show with new fan favourite Lost, from this most recent album ‘Saturday Night, Sunday Morning’.

A dabble into electronic, club music that his 18-year-old self 10 years ago probably would’ve heavily criticised, Lost goes to show how much Jake has developed over the years, staying true is his singer-songwriter roots whilst branching into new areas. And if the audience’s reactions are anything to go by, this new move has been a great success. 

He treated fans to a mix of old a new tracks, thanking them for their support as his debut album turns 10 this year. Although never one for a huge stage performance, the genuine enjoyment that Jake Bugg was experiencing throughout the set was refreshing and uplifting, the morale of the room very high. 

Packing 23 songs into a two-hour set, fans got a teaser of a new song called ‘Seventh Bridge Road’, an upbeat, slightly country rooted track, potentially hinting at the musical theme of the next album. 

Potentially the most poignant moment of the night was when Jake’s bandmates left the stage and he performed ‘Broken’, a beautiful, heart-wrenching ballad from his first album, that truly showcases the extent of his unique, hypnotising vocals. 

Finishing the set with ‘All I Need’, Jake invited singer Joy onto the stage, telling the audience, “I’ve got a proper singer for you now”. Joy’s huge voice and incredible stage presence stole the show and fans went crazy for her, dancing along under the ever-changing disco lights.

Chants of “Jakey Bugg, Jakey Bugg, Jakey Jakey Bugg”, to the tune of ‘Give It Up” by Casey and the Sunshine Band could be heard into the depths of the night as audience members left the concert, everyone sharing the same euphoric feeling that only live music can give to you. 

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