Jake Bugg at the Sage, Gateshead: a review
Words by Robert Halligan
Last night I went to see Jake Bugg at the Sage in Gateshead. Despite freezing cold weather, overpriced drinks and a long metro journey back and forward from Sunderland, I loved it.
Upon entering the Sage, I saw Jake’s merchandise and I tried to restrain myself. I thought: “I can’t be wasting money, I’ll get a shirt from another gig in the future.” In the end, I broke this promise: I knew I had to get something to remember the performance. I wear the t-shirt as I write this.
Jake’s support, Declan J Donovan, smashed my expectations; support bands have a history of often being pretty bad but Declan certainly was not.
He sang his new single ‘Pieces’, as well as ‘Fallen So Young’, which originally started as a speech for his brother’s wedding, and ‘Vienna’, a song about a friend he brought on tour who fell in love with a girl from the Austrian capital.
When he left the stage, the crowd went “Awww” as everyone wanted him to play a little more.
As for Jake Bugg, I went to this gig expecting an average performance.
However, he even rivalled Noel Gallagher’s performance at the venue in May; the only thing that let him down was he only performed for an hour and fifteen minutes. I feel another couple of songs would’ve made the night perfect: for example, I would’ve loved to hear ‘Messed Up Kids’.
He did play my favourite songs though (‘Simple as This’, ‘Me and You’ and ‘Seen It all’) which were amazing, to say the least.
I loved his interactions with the crowd too. He’d ask for suggestions, to which the crowd would shout back songs such as ‘Kitchen Table’, ‘Broken’, and more.
Jake would then reply “I’ve had too many gin and tonics to play that!”, “I wrote that when I was 15, I don’t remember how to play it,” or “I’ll have a hard time playing that on acoustic.”
He also played a song from his upcoming album, in which he has collaborated with artist Cardi B. He said his new album will be ‘really upbeat and a bit more fun’. This is something to be really excited for next year.
I believe the Sage was best suited for Jake’s style. If it was at the 02 Arena last night or at a festival I don’t think it would’ve been anywhere near as good. The venue’s sound suited Jake really well, bringing out his skill with an acoustic guitar.
It has left me hoping for another acoustic tour soon. It would also be great to see other artists, such as Noel Gallagher, Gerry Cinnamon and DMA’s use the Sage for acoustic performance.