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Jake Bugg: Shangri La

November 2013

WAYNE Rooney has more guitars than he has but the England star can’t play a note.
“He came to the gig in Manchester the other night and he wanted his guitar signed,” says Jake Bugg.
“He’s got about 40 guitars but he can’t play; he gets them signed by people. He said he’d got one signed by Paul McCartney.
“It was nice because he gave me the shirt he wore for his last England game against Poland and signed that.”
The Manchester Utd forward tweeted a photo of the meeting saying: “Just been to see @JakeBugg in Apollo. Great gig.”
On this tour Bugg has also had the likes of comedian John  Bishop and British tennis player Laura Robson turning up to see him.
“To be honest, I don’t know who most people are,” says the 19-year-old, making a rare visit back to the city.
He was only here for 12 hours before heading off again to continue with his sold out UK tour.
After checking in to his hotel (he no longer stays with his mum in Clifton), he went to see his cousin and “had a few cans.”
There was a lie-in,  a couple of interviews, then the gig at The Maze.
“I’ve only been back to Nottingham maybe three or four times this year. It’s pretty full-on.”
And it will continue. Tomorrow he’s heading to Scandinavia, then Europe, back to the UK, more European dates, then North America in the New Year.
“Hopefully the routing of the tours will be a bit more organised so we’re not going from New Zealand to Canada to Japan,” says Bugg, who kills time on the road by playing darts, table tennis, football and computer games.
In February, he’ll be at the Capital FM Arena, not just his first headline arena show but the first for a local musician at the city’s biggest venue.
“Yeah man, it’s great,” says Bugg, who headlined the Splendour festival in Wollaton Park in July.
“I never thought I’d be playing it. Obviously you dream of it but you don’t actually think it will happen. I remember how many people were there for Kings Of Leon; it’ll be crazy.”
Tickets to the Maze gig on Saturday afternoon were free to those lucky enough to win them through his website. It brought him back to one of the first places he played four years ago as a 15-year-old.
“It’s nice to do those little gigs again,” says Bugg.
“The first time I played The Maze there weren’t many people there. A lot of venues wouldn’t let me play because of my age. I played a few Monday night gigs in the little bar at the Rescue Rooms after school. People were eating their dinner and not taking much notice. I was probably wearing a tracksuit, maybe that freaked them out.”
Not as hideous as the one worn in the video for Slumville Sunrise, filmed in Nottingham by director Shane Meadows.
“That was a pretty bad one but that was the idea,” he laughs.
“It was a fun day shooting that. I was in Malibu finishing the album the day before. Coming back brought me back to reality. Although I was robbing a jewellery store in a shell suit with old ladies running after me, which I’d never done before.
“It was funny, man. I haven’t had that much fun for a while.”
The video featured Rosamund Hanson and Andrew Shim, both graduates of The Television Workshop. Its director has watched the five minute scene at the end of the video where Bugg has to deliver dialogue. He reckons he’s good enough to join the Workshop.
Bugg seems surprised: “Acting is an exaggerated version of yourself. I can probably express more emotion like that than I can by being interviewed. I’m not very expressive in interviews.
“I like the idea of putting myself in a situation that I’m not used to.”
There won’t be much of an opportunity for any more acting as the momentum gathers pace with the release of Shangri La next week.
It comes just 13 months after his self-titled debut topped the chart.
“Music is about making records,” he says of the quick turn around.
“You’ve just got to get on with it.”
Shangri La is released the same day as the new Robbie Williams album and it’s not a battle he thinks he’ll win.
Besides, if it does reach No. 1 next Sunday, it’ll mean knocking One Direction off the top spot and he’s not keen on the tabloids reviving his verbal spat with them.
Like the debut, Shangri La is a diverse collection, jumping from hillbilly Elvis, to Neil Young country rock, with a fair few folk and pop ballads.
Lyrically, it doesn’t name-check Clifton like the debut but still includes tales of working class life; of drugs and fighting.
“That life is strange to me now because it’s not mine any more,” he admits.
“I’m an outsider looking in from a completely different perspective.”
It was named after the studio in California where it was recorded by Rick Rubin, the co-founder of Def Jam Records and producer for the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jay-Z, Metallica, AC/DC and Adele.
Rubin also revived the career of Johnny Cash during his final years with a series of acclaimed  American Recordings albums.
“We became friends and I’m sure I’ll go back to hear a few Johnny Cash stories because when I was there I had to be pretty focused on making the record and didn’t really have time,” says Bugg, who has sold a million copies of his debut album.
He has indulged in his passion for guitars, buying two vintage models worth over £20,000 each but he has yet to buy property, despite rumours that he had bought a house in Southwell and a Mercedes with the personalised number plate 8UGG.
“I don’t know what that was about,” he says.
“I can’t drive. And I’m not sure I’d live in Southwell. Is it a nice place? I’ve never really been.
“I’d like a little retreat in Malibu or a flat Paris.
“But I’m not in one place for long enough to buy anywhere. The two weeks that I recorded the album in Malibu was the longest I’ve stayed in one place for two years.”
Does he miss home?
“I miss the people. I don’t really miss Clifton because I was there for 17 years. I knew there was a big world out there and I wanted to see it. That’s what I’m doing.”

Shangri La is released on Monday. Tickets for his date at the Capital FM Arena on Thursday, February 20 are £22.50 from the venue, call 0845 413 4444 or go to

1 comment:

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