ACL Live Shot: Jake Bugg

Young Brit makes local buds

My my, hey hey – Jake Bugg
My my, hey hey – Jake Bugg (by Shelley Hiam)

When last in Austin for South by Southwest, 19-year-old Jake Bugg boasted a shockingly strong debut LP and a stage presence that needed some work.

Hardly gregarious on Friday, the young Brit was more confident and relaxed, locked in tighter with his rhythm section and enjoying a larger, more engaged crowd than at his last local appearance.

He also came to the table with new songs and a more rocking direction – the result of recent work with classic rock-loving Rick Rubin, perhaps? The tremolo-enhanced blues of “Ballad of Mr. Jones,” near-punk blaze of “What Doesn’t Kill You,” and a moody electric cover of Neil Young’s “My My, Hey Hey” point to new juice running through the youngster’s veins.

Bugg’s truest talent still rests on the influence of a certain Man in Black, via “Trouble Town,” “Country Song,” and the rockabilly-flavored “Slumville Sunrise.” Who knew that the most potent inheritor of the Tennessee Three’s distinctive boom-chicka-boom would be a British teenager from council housing?

He’s additionally adept at ironically world-weary observations, like “Seen It All” and melancholy balladry like “Broken.” Ultimately, his biggest British hits gave him the most mileage. The show-closing “Lightning Bolt” elicited plenty of cheers, while the anthemic “Two Fingers” left an impression with its defiant honesty and rootsy hook.

Bugg may never be the star in the States that he is in the UK, but his ACL Fest set made him far more friends than he’s enjoyed here previously.


For more ACL Fest coverage, see austinchronicle.com/acl. For photo galleries from the fest, see austinchronicle.com/photos.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More ACL Fest 2013
The Rain Can't Stop the Music
The Rain Can't Stop the Music
UPDATE: ACL acts including Mowglis make alternate plans

Richard Whittaker, Oct. 13, 2013

ACL Live Shot (Second Weekend): The Cure
ACL Live Shot (Second Weekend): The Cure
Robert Smith summons the rain

Doug Freeman, Oct. 13, 2013

More Jake Bugg
SXSW 2013 Records
Jake Bugg
Jake Bugg (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, March 15, 2013

More by Michael Toland
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Trail of Dead, Opeth, Mykfresh, Big Laugh, Rattlesnake Milk, Deezie Brown, and more recommended shows

Nov. 26, 2021

What We're Listening to Right Now
What We're Listening to Right Now
Beats by Balto!, Hayes Carol, Kiko Villamizar, Ley Line, and Colin Clark

Nov. 12, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

ACL Fest 2013, Jake Bugg

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle