Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fans Are Bitten by the Bugg; the Name Jake Bugg Wouldn't Have Meant Much to Music Followers at the Start of This Year. Now the Teenager, Whose Debut Album Has Reached No 1, Counts His Hero Noel Gallagher among His Fans. He's at the O2 Academy Newcastle on November 22 and February 5. ANDY"

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fans Are Bitten by the Bugg; the Name Jake Bugg Wouldn't Have Meant Much to Music Followers at the Start of This Year. Now the Teenager, Whose Debut Album Has Reached No 1, Counts His Hero Noel Gallagher among His Fans. He's at the O2 Academy Newcastle on November 22 and February 5. ANDY"

Article excerpt

THE chain of events that catapulted 18-year-old Jake Bugg to the top of the album chart all started with an episode of The Simpsons.

Bugg was just 12 when he was captivated by what he heard while watching the animated comedy series.

"It's all Don McLean's fault," he says, referring to the guest star in that particular episode. "I heard his song Vincent and that started me off."

Fired with enthusiasm for music, Bugg was given a guitar by his uncle. Two years later, after much practice in his bedroom, he started writing his own songs - some of which feature on his chart-topping album.

"For the first few years I was just learning covers, seeing what chords went with others and how songs went together. Then I started writing myself," he explains.

Bugg, managed by Newcastlebased Soul Kitchen, can't put his finger exactly on his musical influences, but says there was always music playing at home when he was growing up.

"Some of it was good, some of it was shocking. My mum was always listening to Take That or something that I hated. People seem to think I'm a massive Bob Dylan fan, but I've not really listened to him that much and my parents never did.

"I know his first album and the famous tracks, like Subterranean Homesick Blues, but not much. It's a strange comparison."

A performance at Glastonbury in I2011 on the BBC's Introducing stage, where unsigned musicians can show off their skills, led to a recording contract with Mercury.

Less than a year later, thanks to a performance on Later... With Jools Holland, Bugg had arrived.

"It was all pretty chaotic after that TV appearance," says Bugg, who is clearly still adjusting to his meteoric rise to fame.

Several of his songs hark back to growing up on a housing estate in Clifton, Nottingham, with references to drug use, trouble with the police and generally getting up to no good in car parks of a Friday evening. He smiles when it's mentioned, but says his beginnings were no more or less traumatic than anyone else's.

"It's been massively exaggerated, I think," he says. "It was no picnic, but it's not as bad as some people would have you believe. It's not easy living on a council estate, it has its bad points as well as good.

"A lot of my songs are about escaping those streets, but it's not just me, it's for anyone in a similar situation.

"My family wanted me to get a job after school or carry on with education, but that's just life. You've got to be able to feed yourself, but it was my uncle who really pushed me to music.

"I thought it was better not to have the safety net of education or anything because it'll keep motivating me to write better songs.

"But at the same time I don't think an education would be a bad thing to fall back on. My mum was a singer so I think she's really pleased for me, doing what she wanted to do. …

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