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Jake Bugg Sells Out Koko, London

Quite possibly one of the biggest musical explosions of the last decade, Jake Bugg has gone from playing in London to 150 people at the Queen's Head, Islington to 1,410 at Koko, Camden in the space of eight months. In addition to this, he has two nights already booked at the 2,000 capacity Shepherd's Bush Empire for February 2013. There is no denying the meteoric rise of this 18 year old.


Tonight's opening support is Tom Odell. Sat at an upright piano and flanked by a
drummer, guitarist and bass/double bass player, he whittles through a good setlist with his raspy, folk voice. He casts a refreshingly different visual from many of his young peers on stage. With a sound that is a montage of Maroon 5, Mumford & Sons, Hanson and Coldplay,Tom Odell certainly has commercial appeal and we look forward to seeing where his musical journey takes him.


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Next up was Findlay, a female singer who opened with an a cappella number that won the audience over on her vocals. I felt that she was a little confused as to the sound she was aiming for. One moment it was an enjoyable soulful sound of the Duffy ilk, but then it switched to wanting to be Pink. It felt a little as if she was trying too hard; and her hair ruffling and pole dancing with the mike stand started to get irritating. She needs to settle her sound and then the rest of it should fall into place. For my money the vocals were better on the more soulful numbers.


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Sticking with the tried and tested, Jake Bugg opened with Kentucky,which is a perfect opening track and sends the Jake Bugg mood out in waves across those assembled in Koko and starts to grab the attention of those who have had one too many due to the late stage time.


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'Seen It All' was the first track that really got everyone dancing along and enjoying themselves. Slide is my personal favourite, it has such beautiful lyrics and I was glad to see it made it into the set list, although I was surprised to see some guy attempt to crowd surf during it, to no avail.


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When Jake sang the big singles, the crowd started to sing along with him. These
singles Trouble Town, Taste It, Lightning Bolt and Two Fingers - have been fundamental to his success and whilst I am in no way doubting the song writing talent of Jake, which is clearly evident on self-penned tracks such as Country Song, the contribution to these songs and honing of Jake's talent, by Snow Patrol's Iain Archer cannot be denied. However, it is Jake who has to carry them off on stage and he does that with great honesty. With Jake, what you see if what you get, no pretension, no bullshit, he talks little between songs, letting his songs do the talking for him.


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Jake's talent lies not just in his song writing and singing but also in his playing, listening tonight you can hear and see that he has good finger picking, which is a difficult skill to master. Jake, Robbo on bass and Jack on drums are all very tight musically, they are well practised and watching them play Lightning Bolt and listening to the great syncopation is wonderful to hear in guys so young.


To view all photos taken during this set click here. There are 15 available.