Jake Bugg – Flex

Jake Bugg – Overrated or just back dated?

Jake Bugg - Flex
Jake Bugg – Flex

For the second time in 2013 Jake Bugg graced Vienna with his presence. This time in Flex for his first ever headline gig in the Austrian capital.

I have to admit I didn’t want to go to this one as I was far from blown away by his appearance at the FM4 Geburtstagsfest, but listening to the album a bit more convinced me to give the Nottingham lad another chance. After all, he does sing about the city I spent four happy years of university at. As a midlander from a similar shit hole like Nottingham I can relate to a lot of what Bugg sings about, and I remember feeling the same at his age.

Enough reminiscing. The gig was sold out as expected and, as expected, 50% of the crowd consisted of very very young girls, once again justifying my scepticism towards “the next best thing since sliced bread”.

After a very uninspiring support artist called Jack Savoretti had earned his money for the evening it was time for Jake to strut his way onto the stage to put out a tight, clean and entertaining performance. Musically the man is extremely talented, make no mistake about it, but unfortunately he has the charisma and energy of a slug on weed out there on stage.

The music he plays simply doesn’t seem to fit with the man, with the time and with the environment. He has succeeded in creating something I would happily listen to if it had come out in the 60s, but in today’s day and age it simply seems far too manufactured, unoriginal and lacking something. I hope he will find it in his 2nd record.

The masses waiting for man
The masses waiting for man

There were hints of “it” during the gig, moments of genius which sent chills down the back of your neck, but these were neutralized far too often by cheap cliches and too many solo slow numbers, oh, and the screaming girls helped ruin any connection found with the music at every opportunity. The “Pro 7” tune was greeted by joyous screams from the blondes up front. For those of you not in the know, one of Jake Bugg’s songs was used recently for a promotional campaign on the german language private TV channel Pro 7. It certainly seemed to help get the teenie boppers to part with their money.

Overall a pleasant evening of pleasant songs played by a man who is probably a pleasant person in private. Is he the savior of music and deserved of the extreme hype given to him at the moment? Based on this album and his performances I don’t think so. There is going to be a lot resting on his sophomore album. The jury is still out on Jake Bugg as the two sides of my brain fight it out to find a verdict on this one.

.A.S.

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