REVIEW: Jake Bugg's light and shade formula works once again

Jake Bugg plays the UEA LCR in Norwich, Norfolk

Jake Bugg plays the UEA LCR in Norwich, Norfolk - Credit: Andi Sapey

Jake Bugg kept the crowd in Norwich on their toes on Monday night as he bowed off stage halfway through his set. 

But all credit to the Lightning Bolt singer, he returned beneath the lights of the LCR at the University of East Anglia after a 20-minute break and apologised throughout his performance for feeling rough. 

So it's unsurprising the 28-year-old was perhaps not as full of beans as he has been at previous gigs. 

Jake Bugg plays the UEA LCR in Norwich, Norfolk

Jake Bugg plays the UEA LCR in Norwich, Norfolk - Credit: Andi Sapey

As someone who grew up in Nottingham just a few years behind the Clifton native I'd seen him a couple of times before, so expected a pretty lively evening.

And it was - though not consistently. 

Bugg's new album - Saturday Night, Sunday Morning - feels exactly like its title.

Some singles - Lonely Hours and All I Need to name a couple - are full of the promise of a Saturday night.

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In contrast Downtown and Maybe It's Today reflect the often somewhat more subdued aftermath.

This light and shade is a formula which has worked on Bugg's albums before.

However this album feels more measured and somewhat tested after a fifth time through the studio doors.

Some things have moved on - where the likes of Bugg's self-titled debut album and follow up Shangri La were more acoustic-based the newer stuff is more electric. 

As a result it feels a bit grittier, somewhat harder to listen to but is also a step away from his slightly poppy roots. 

Admittedly his lyrics also aren't quite as catchy as they used to be (take I've Seen it All as an example) which did mean that the crowd certainly perked up for more songs than others. 

Firm favourites like Two Fingers saw the audience hollering along where other numbers saw casual fans turning to the bar.

All in all the droves of people which turned out for the gig won't have been disappointed - far from it. 

But this album marks something of a corner turn in Bugg's discography as opposed to a 180-degree swerve. 

So if listeners were hoping for more of what they love, or something new entirely, they might be somewhat let down.