Live Review: Jake Bugg @ Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool (25/11/17)
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On the closing night of his solo acoustic tour, Jake Bugg delivered a flawless set to a packed out Royal Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool.
It takes more than a patch of hail and harsh winds to dampen the spirits of a Liverpool crowd, and despite the appalling weather thrashing around outside, there was a sense of buzzing anticipation of something special in the moments leading up to Jake Bugg's entrance onto the stage. The crowd filled their seats, with both pints of lager and glasses of Prosecco in hand, as support acts - Jade Bird and Georgie - both gave fun, confident opening sets. Both artists knew how to work the room, matching the rising energy of the eagerly awaiting fans. Given the Philharmonic stage is big enough to cater for a large theatre performance, it was surprising to see just a small spot in the centre allocated for the artists. The space illuminated by just five lights creating a circle shaped performance area, kept an element of intimacy in the show, despite the large swarms of gig-goers entering the venue and the spacious stage leading on for what seemed like miles all sides of the performers. If the sheer size of the venue was enough to dent even Jake Bugg's confidence, and after a couple of songs he did confess to being "a little nervous tonight, there's been so much musical talent come from this city...I just want to live up to the expectation", he did little to show it. His entrance was met with raucous screams and thunderous applause, but in typical Jake Bugg fashion he didn't stop to lap it up, breaking into the first few bars of 'Hearts That Strain' just seconds after taking his seat centre stage. He carries on, slipping almost straight away into another track of his recently released fourth album, 'How Soon The Dawn', followed by one his first ever released songs 'Saffron'. The performances are mesmerising. The audience are transfixed on him, and it doesn't take long for everyone to realise they're in for a treat. One of the defining points of the evening comes next as Bugg announces he's going to play, "a little song called Slide". His vocals echo round the hall, few audience members try to sing along before retiring back and taking in the experience. Bugg's vocal control is flawless, as he toys with the hooks, switching up tempo and volume.
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