Jake Bugg with support from Hudson Taylor
Saturday 9th February 2013 – Mandela Hall, Belfast
To get a ticket for Saturday night’s gig in Mandela Hall could be compared to finding one of Wonka’s Golden tickets. The tickets had sold out months before which only serves to highlight the huge following that Jake Bugg has amassed in his short time in the scene. He is currently riding a crest of a wave with no one able to compare musically. You can’t pin a type on him and the same could be said of the crowd ranging from teenagers through to the middle age.
For me sometimes the best part of a gig can be discovering a new music act, and this happened on Saturday, knowing I was covering the gig, I googled Hudson Taylor to give me an idea of what to expect and I was won over on the first song, think Mumford & Sons but better, so it was with anticipation I waited for the guys to come on stage. I was sceptical though, there could not be any way that the brothers from Dublin could sound as sweet vocally as they did on their free download available from their website. The brother’s Harry and Alfie answered my question as they began their set. From the first moment I was shown that yes the guys could sound just as sweet as they do on their EP’s and preformed harmonies live that just blew me away. They have two EP’s available at the moment and started off their set with the title track of one of them ‘Cinematic Lifestyle’, the set-up of the two acoustic guitars and violin may be simple but was very effective.
Up next was ‘Chasing Rubies’, their vocals were superb to say the least and this is a band you really need to live to appreciate. They continued on in the same vein covering both their EP’s which are available to download on iTunes. It is not hard to believe the boys are a YouTube hit with their busking videos. I am hoping that the Jake Bugg gig will be the perfect springboard for Hudson Taylor as I envision BIG things for them. Before I left that night I picked up the two EP’s and will wear my Hudson Taylor badge with pride I look forward to seeing these guys again the sooner the better. Even better Hudson Taylor have been named as the support act for the Script’s Irish leg of their stadium tour, so thankfully I will see them again very soon.
After the dulcet tones of Hudson Taylor it was the time for the main show, and the crowd was buzzing, Jake Bugg may be a teenager but everything about him screams the opposite especially his taste in music. Listing such icons as Dylan & Cash he could never be considered your run of the mill 18 year old. Strolling onto the stage at first glance he would remind you of a Gallagher brother. There are no smiles or gimmicks as he begins his one hour set; quite simply there is no need, he knows his music is enough and boy he is right. Flying through song after song including ‘Trouble Town’, ‘Taste It’, ‘Two Fingers’, ‘Someone Told Me’, ‘Fire’ and the now iconic and stunningly preformed ‘Lightning Bolt’. It was Bolt & the Johnny Clash classic ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ that were for me the highlights of the night.
Bugg owns the stage and as such is in complete control of his audience; this young man has the world at his feet. He does not need to be a pop star, and I feel that could be the face of British Rock and Roll for decades to come. I have a feeling Jake will be back in Belfast many times but that this is the last time we will see him in such a small venue. While I am glad I got to experience him in a small venue this time, the demand for tickets proves he is ready to take the next step.