AFTER playing here acoustically in 2018, Jake Bugg promised to return with a full band and the Nottingham singer was true to his word.

From folk-rock in his early days to more recent country and indie-dance sounds, the singer showcased what for most other artists would be a lifetime of music.

Now, on his third visit to Southampton and with five hit albums, here is an understated giant of British music who is only 28 years old.


New album Saturday Night, Sunday Morning dominated the evening. The infectious rhythm of single Lost sets an early high tempo, while the fusion of country and indie on Kiss Like the Sun keeps things upbeat.

Bugg is several tracks in before there is a pause in the crowd chanting his name between numbers.

The singer’s early singles are adored by fans, with breakthrough songs Seen It All, Two Fingers and Lightning Bolt, which he first sang at the Guildhall nine years ago, still favourites.

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Thanking the crowd for their support in the decade since he first released music, he said, “the songs don’t get any easier to sing, so I’m going to need your help with this one”, before a joint performance of Broken.

While songs from his third album are used sparingly, the haunting The Man on Stage, with its electrifying final guitar solo, is a reminder that Bugg can change pace whenever he likes. The beautifully thoughtful new song Hold Tight, his favourite from his current release, also gives fans a breather, before last year’s hit, All I Need, has everyone back on their toes.

Few artists could produce a show as varied as this. Ten years ago, Jake Bugg was hailed as the future. He still is. 

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Earlier, Edinburgh’s Vistas played a lively set. The foursome have been with Bugg for all of this 17 date tour and seem at home on the big stages. It seems a long time since they played to a handful of fans at Heartbreakers in Southampton in 2019.

London Calling by The Clash preceded the arrival of opening act Louis Dunford, a north Londoner who has just released EP The Popham.

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