woensdag 7 juni 2017

Jake Bugg with Max Meser. Patronaat, Haarlem 4 June 2017

Photo: Wo.
After seeing Jake Bugg live for the first time, there remains only one thing to say: What a talent! Now I had heard all his albums, so that did not really come as a surprise. From a nice debut, to a great second album, to a latest album in which Bugg spreads his wings and tries to find new ways to express himself musically.

The show started with Jake Bugg with an acoustic guitar and an artist that spellbound his audience. The way he played with the tempo of a song and his diction showed how he lives in his songs and can play with them. Making them much more expressive and impressive. As a listener he surprised me several times during an acoustic song. A trick he played superbly again and even more impressively during the song before last.

The most surprising thing of the show was Jake Bugg's speaking voice. To my surprise it was very low. My girlfriend immediately got a case of business-deformity, as according to her Jake Bugg uses his voice completely wrong and should learn to sing with his real voice and not how he sings now. He will get voice troubles she predicts. Time will tell. The point was given, according to her, in the cover by Richie Havens (!?), 'Going Back To My Roots'. Here he sung as he should. Meanwhile I was wondering, so that disco single of circa 1980 was a cover by Richie Havens? Never too old to learn.

Photo: Wo.
The many talents of this young artist all came out during the show. The songwriter, the performer, the singer and the guitarist. The three piece band played competently but hardly without a lasting impression. They are there to make Jake Bugg shine and that mission succeeds without any doubt.

The music of Jake Bugg has a few sides. There's is the early Dylan balladeer, the Johnny Cash country rocker and the rock and roller. Next to his own voice and songs, like 'A Song About Love' and 'Simple Pleasures'. All sides got their spot, before the show went into overdrive and the rock and rollers came out. Before that moment all aspects received their space and time in the limelight. In the mean time Bugg showed us all the elements in his guitar playing, licks played at astonishing speed, rhythmic soloing, fingerpicking, it's all there. All three his albums got a good portion of songs where nothing stood out, unless it was the dance rhythm of 'Gimme The Love' of his latest album 'On My One', and the quality of all songs were evident. But then, how different is 'Gimme The Love' really from a 'Slumville Sunrise'? Idea? Different. Intent? The same. Dancing, up tempo. That hardly anything stands out is a manifestation of the quality of the songs of Jake Bugg, they are all good. Even my favourites were not extremely special, just made me move a little bit more. I enjoyed each and every song he played.

There was one aspect to the Jake Bugg show that was unique. I'd never seen before. The technicians at the side doubled as cocktail mixers. Whatever it was, drinks got mixed and served on stage in between tuning the next guitar.

'We have one more song for you". 'Lighting Bolt' was played and the four men walked off the stage and that was it. Out with a bang.

Photo: Wo.
When we entered the venue we could hear the support act starting to play. On entering the hall, musically I could have been fooled, that we were too late to hear the start of Jake Bugg. We weren't, as he wasn't on stage. It was Max Meser. An artist I had meant to check out, but somehow failed to listen to in the past year. There's simply so much to keep up with. Also here it was clear that we were watching a musical talent with many faces. 60s inspired songs came by infused with some late 70s spikes. Most songs I heard were easy to connect to, although I missed that little extra, that spark which makes songs come truly alive. That apart, everything was in its right place. The band around Meser gave that little extra that gave me the impression to be watching a band and not a lead singer with accompanying musicians. The songs were more than alright and deserve checking out. So why there was no merchandise baffled me. After a show is the moment to sell albums and stuff. (At the metal show next door in the café of the Patronaat, there was a whole shop with stuff set up.) So I'll turn to Spotify instead.

Two great shows in one go. It should have been on the beach in Bloemendaal, but I was fine with this change. Much closer to home. While writing I am listening once again to 'Shangri La'. What a fantastic album. One of the best of the 10s so far.


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