SPLEN­DOUR CATCHES THE BUGG

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

JAKE Bugg has been hailed the lat­est saviour of Bri­tish gui­tar mu­sic for good rea­son. His self-ti­tled de­but al­bum went straight to No. 1 in the UK charts last Oc­to­ber, knock­ing Mum­ford & Sons from the top spot and fend­ing off com­pe­ti­tion from X Fac­tor star Leona Lewis.

In the past 12 months, the Splen­dour in the Grass drawcard has sup­ported Stone Roses, The Rolling Stones and Noel Gal­lagher – the Oasis man is his most out­spo­ken sup­porter – and has been de­scribed as a mod­ern-day Bob Dy­lan.

Many 19-year-olds would ei­ther wilt or com­bust in the midst of such at­ten­tion, but Bugg was al­ways pre­pared for fame, con­fi­dent his Brit­pop-folk-rock would even­tu­ally find an au­di­ence. He just didn’t re­alise how quickly.

Raised on a coun­cil es­tate in Not­ting­ham, Bugg started play­ing mu­sic at the age of 14 af­ter his un­cle gave him a gui­tar.

He dropped out of school two years later and re­treated to his bed­room to write songs, sim­ply be­cause he couldn’t af­ford to go out or do any­thing else.

It gave him a chance to say things he felt un­com­fort­able dis­cussing among friends and fam­ily, with many of his re­sult­ing songs skirt­ing around his dreams of es­cape.

‘‘For me it can be hard to talk about emo­tions or how I’m feelling so mu­sic works as a way to get that out in a way I feel com­fort­able with,’’ Bugg says – and yes, that is his real name.

‘‘When­ever I sing one of my songs now I al­ways try and put my­self back where I was when I wrote it, so the al­bum felt right to me and if any­one else thinks the same it’s just a bonus.’’

Bugg shrugs off the con­stant com­par­isons with mu­sic icons – Dy­lan as a song­writer, Liam Gal­lagher for at­ti­tude and style – call­ing them ‘‘lazy and generic’’.

While not dis­miss­ing the artists them­selves, his great­est in­spi­ra­tion is the more gen­teel song­writ­ing of Don McLean, whose song Vin­cent (Starry Starry Night) he dis­cov­ered in an episode of The Simp­sons.

‘‘He was the first per­son I heard a piece of mu­sic from that gave me the as­pi­ra­tion to lis­ten to more,’’ Bugg says.

‘‘He had a lot of songs I liked but I couldn’t un­der­stand why I liked them. I was young at the time and none of my friends were lis­ten­ing to him so I thought I must be on to some­thing.’’

Still fo­cused on the art of song­writ­ing rather than the trap­pings of celebrity, keep­ing a cir­cle tight has been a big part of Bugg’s ground­ing.

He let his fam­ily pick the song or­der on his al­bum and wears his hum­ble up­bring­ing proudly (in spite of var­i­ous fash­ion deals and ru­mours of a su­per­model girl­friend).

Tales of teenage scrapes run through Bugg’s pow­er­house de­but, most graph­i­cally on Seen It All, which re­counts him wit­ness­ing a stab­bing at a party while on drugs at the age of 16. It speaks for it­self.

‘‘That’s how it hap­pened more or less. If I was to try and ex­plain the song to you it would be a worse de­scrip­tion than the song it­self. It was a bit crazy and I wasn’t re­ally used to any of that stuff,’’ he says.

‘‘But even though it was a ter­ri­ble ex­pe­ri­ence, I got some­thing out of it. I got a song.’’

Splen­dour In The Grass (sold out) plays North By­ron Park­lands, near By­ron Bay, from to­mor­row un­til Sun­day. Jake Bugg plays the fes­ti­val Jake Bugg on stage at the Isle of Wight Fes­ti­val, in New­port, last month. on Satur­day. Vir­gin Mo­bile will stream the ‘Best of the Fest’ at youtube.com/Vir­gin­Mo­bileAus on Sun­day from 2pm .

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.