Review: Jake Bugg at The Foundry, Torquay

Jake Bugg at The Foundry, Torquay
Jake Bugg at The Foundry, Torquay -Credit:DevonLive

It was literally a show of two halves when incredible singer-songwriter and musician Jake Bugg arrived in Torquay to get the bank holiday weekend party started. Not surprisingly, the show at The Foundry - fast becoming a venue for attracting some top performers - was a sell-out on May 3 with everyone jostling for a view of the stage.

The crowd didn't have to wait long for the 29-year-old to appear because there was no support act. Instead, he treated fans to a rare two-set show with the first half being an acoustic setlist with just Jake and his trusty guitar. It couldn't have got off to a better start with Jake beginning the set with Strange Creatures.

It's one of my personal favourites because of the sheer brilliance of Jake's guitar playing and catchy lyrics. The loud crowd happily joined in when he then began playing Me and You and Country Song.

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Sadly not everyone in the crowd was respectful of shutting up to hear him deliver them perfectly, in particular a very annoying young drunk women who repetitively kept calling out, 'I love you Jake'. Thankfully she did give up attempting to get a response in the end.

Fans were treated to new song I Wrote The Book which had a Johnny Cash vibe going on and it was great to hear some new material emerging again. After playing for more than half an hour, Jake finished the set with Simple as This which was another enthusiastically greeted sing-along song.

I honestly didn't think he would be able to top such an incredible performance, but low and behold that's exactly what he did. The party vibe immediately became apparent as Jake strolled back on stage with a bass player and drummer with the background music of Be Someone pounding out of the speakers.

The first song of the electric set was Troubled Town with the crowd dancing away and belting out the words in loud unison followed by Messed Up Kids. The set list saw Jake show his versatility with some epic electric guitar playing but also bringing his acoustic guitar back out for a few numbers.

Jake Bugg at The Foundry, Torquay
Jake Bugg at The Foundry, Torquay -Credit:DevonLive

Crowd pleasers kept coming including Slumville Sunrise, Pine Trees, Taste It, Two Fingers, Lightning Bolt and the incredible Broken, mixed in with some new songs which I hope he will be releasing soon, especially the instantly catchy and hit destined Screaming. The evening ended with All I Need and with a humble Jake having declared, 'what an amazing crowd; if I knew how good it was I would have come sooner', and adding, 'I could play all night'.

I could've more than happily heard him play all night because Jake is a rare, young talent who has already achieved so much in his career and is maturing into a musician who can span different genres with ease. I heard a fellow fan on the way out moaning that Jake had sold out by releasing some 'pop songs' into the mix.

I couldn't disagree more. He obviously loves different styles of music and all of them blended together to create a perfect unforgettable night. I just wish more bands would ditch their support acts and perform acoustic sets before livening things up.

Jake also has to be commended for the reason he came to Torquay. His Your Town Tour will see him play 15 headline dates across the UK at some of the country’s smaller towns and venues to bring a high-profile live show back to places that have seen drop-offs in big touring artists visiting in recent years. I definitely don't think it will be the last Torquay has seen of Jake.