Jake Bugg – April 4th – The Bluebird Theater

07-TYH_4414Photos by Ty Hyten

Humbly deflecting unasked-for requests for songs, English songwriter Jake Bugg guided a packed house through a memorable acoustic set last Wednesday night at the Bluebird. The twenty-four-year-old was preceded by another young UK musician, Scotland’s Nina Nesbitt. Nesbitt’s music is a bit of an odd side dish for Bugg’s, but when presented acoustically, it worked. It was her first US tour and I fully expect with her next trip across the pond we’ll be seeing her sharing the bill with some of America’s Top 40 radio royalty.

Bugg’s set, though acoustic and played primarily under a single spotlight, was by no means dull. His nasally voice, with a distinctly British timbre, functioned as a beautiful tool for nearly Punk Rock on songs like “Taste It” and delicate Folk on songs like “Country Song.” His guitar playing was equally versatile, alternating between rapid fire, hand-blurring strumming on “There’s A Beast And We All Feed It” and snappy, intricate fingerstyle on “Saffron.” At times he’d rapidly interject unexpected lead runs that were fun without being flashy enough to distract from the song. The crowd was lively and couldn’t hide their excitement at times. Bugg ended up playing most of the songs that were shouted at him through the night, ending with one of the most requested, “Lightning Bolt.”