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BEING THERE: Jake Bugg @ World Cafe Live

Photo by PETE TROSHAK

Sleepy-eyed 19-year-old Brit-folk troubadour turned in a convincing, believe-the-hype Philly debut at a packed World Café Live last night. The buzz of excitement and high expectations in the room was palpable. The crowd ranged from age 15 to 60 and many of them lined up hours in advance to get a good spot. Bugg, a dead ringer for a young George Harrison, wore a grey tracksuit and swapped guitars almost every song. He was aided by a tight rhythm section for a 16-song run, including three new songs and one ballsy cover song. He wooed the crowd with the tender and beautiful acoustic ballad “Broken.” He showed some chugging, Cash-like rhythm skills and a deft grasp of ’50s rock with “Trouble Town.” He played a couple of louder new cuts that felt like …Morning Glory era Oasis with big bold hooks and some searing guitar. He displayed a pinch of punk attitude but delivered it with a smile while playing his best song, “Two Fingers,” which is about flipping the bird to the past and moving on. During the encore he delivered a stunning cover of Neil Young’s “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue).” It’s hard to sing with conviction about whether to burn out or rust at age nineteen but Bugg somehow managed to pull it off. He played the song slow and quietly at first drawing in the crowd and opened the floodgates halfway through cranking out riffs on his guitar and unleashing a brief but vicious solo that would’ve had the Young himself nodding along and throwing up devil horns. Bugg closed with his hit, the brief rockabilly blast “Lightning Bolt,” that featured a couple of more memorable solos from Bugg and had the crowd cheering and clapping and still buzzing about him as they headed out into the night. – PETE TROSHAK

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