It comes as a bit of a surprise seeing Jake Bugg’s new video verging on 7 minutes considering he once said that if a song is more than 3 and a half minutes long, it needs “something to keep you entertained”. It transpires, however, that the song is just under 3 minutes and it’s the video that entertains.
Bugg has teamed up with Shane Meadows, director of This is England and cultural icon, creating a video in which a harsh urban life is combined with a Benny Hill-esque chase, creating a mix of drama and comedy; utterly British.
The song is faster and less acoustic than much of his debut – a continuation from his previous single What Doesn’t Kill You. The jagged guitar riff and snare rolls compliment the video’s running scenes. Bugg’s guitar solo manages to be impressive, yet sound free and less calculated than much of the first album. This digression in sound from his eponymous debut is mirrored in the lyrics, where he sings about how “this place is just not for me”. Perhaps the relationship with his hometown is drawing to a close and his days of singing about life in Nottingham are numbered with America’s beautiful beaches beckoning.
The British artist’s dry humour is visible throughout: the suspicions aroused by the arrival of a tracksuit-clad young man in a diamond merchants – “the most awful tracksuit we could find” according to Meadows; the naff running scenes; the attempted theft of a mobility scooter; and his girlfriend’s complaints when presented with a £20,000 ring without a box.
Together the video and song show a growth in confidence and stature a departure from his urchin-like charm of old – hardly surprising for someone with such a successful debut and the starry eyes of the US. Not only was his video directed by Shane Meadows, but now he is the star of his own show – without the company of a guitar and microphone.