World tour finally brings young star to the resort

Jake Bugg on stage
Jake Bugg on stage
Share this article
Have your say

Jake Bugg has promised fans heading to his Blackpool show a night of new and old music.

The Nottingham lad has had a more interesting 12 months than most teenagers.

A year ago Bugg released his debut album. A week later it went to number one and his life changed for good.

He’s since played live across the world, headline slots as well as supporting the likes of Noel Gallagher and Snow Patrol, and releases album number two – Shangri La – on November 18.

A few days before that – on Tuesday, November 12 – Bugg plays a sold-out gig at the resort’s Empress Ballroom, when there’ll be plenty of new material on show.

“I’m here to write songs, that’s what I do. It’s not a task, it is something I enjoy,” said the 19-year-old. “So that’s why the second album is happening so quickly. There were just loads of tracks I had and when I got into the studio it all came together really quickly.”

As well as Blackpool, Bugg plays three nights at the Manchester Apollo and three gigs at the Brixton Academy.

“There is no better feeling than looking at people really enjoying what I do,” he said.

“It’s absolutely fantastic, and to me it’s almost unbelievable that I’m playing some really big venues this autumn. But at the same time it’s all I ever dreamed about.”

As for the new record, it has been recorded with legendary American producer Rick Rubin, who has worked with artists from Johnny Cash to Adele. “He is an icon but to me he was just this guy with a big beard!” said Bugg.

“But you can see why he’s so well thought of because although he’s really chilled, he gets the very best out of the artists he works with.

“The new album was a bit of an accident really because I only went into his studio with the intention of recording two songs and we ended up doing 12! He was brilliant at dragging all these ideas out of me, and they quickly turned into finished songs – in just two weeks.”

Bugg’s new single, What Doesn’t Kill You (you can hear it on Youtube), is a blistering two-minute piece of Stooges-style guitar pop. It sounds heavier than anything on his debut but that doesn’t mean Bugg has opted for a radical change of direction.

“That single is the heaviest thing on the album,” he explained. “I’ve still maintained a balance with the quieter ballads I’ve written. I think the difference this time is that I’ve felt confident enough to accentuate the difference between the two styles.”

Despite having a new album just around the corner, Bugg’s self-titled first album is still selling by the bucketload, and is in the running to win this month’s Mercury Music Prize.

“It’s great to be nominated but it doesn’t mean a lot to me,” he said.

“I make music because I love music, not to win awards.

“I started writing songs in the hope they could mean something, could help someone, could inspire someone, could make someone’s day.

“That’s the best thing in the world for me, not a trophy.”

Bugg is clearly a boy destined for huge things. Keep your eye on the Winter Gardens website ( to see if any late tickets become available.