Jake Bugg – Two Fingers

This song caught my attention in 2012 when it was released. It has an older feel to it. It did not chart in America but it did peak at #28 in the UK charts. I like the echo in his voice and the chorus will stick with you.

In December of 2018 my son and I saw him at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville with Kelsey Waters opening up. There was an even mixture of young and old to see the 23-year-old play. He has listed influences as diverse as  Jimi Hendrix, Donovan, to Nick Drake.

Jake Edwin Kennedy is his real name…but he records under the name of Jake Bugg. He grew up in the Clifton area of Nottingham and started playing guitar at the age of 12. He was later signed by Mercury Records after he appeared at the 2011 Glastonbury Festival. The song we hear is the demo he made. He wanted to go back and re-record it in a proper studio but the label loved it and released it as it was.

Jake Bugg’s debut album debuted at #1 on the UK charts. He was only 19 years old, he became the youngest British male ever to have an album enter the charts at the top position.

The song was about his home life growing up. He said it wasn’t exactly like the video but not far off.

I knew the two fingers meant something insulting so I looked it up… The “two-fingered salute” in which the index and middle fingers are put up at or to another person with the palm outward, is an obscene gesture of scorn or defiance. Its use as an insulting sign is largely restricted to the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. 

And….

Britishinformal

to make an obscene gesture by holding up the index finger and the middle finger of one hand in the shape of a V while keeping the palm turned inward

Jake Bugg: “It’s a very personal song for me, I wanted to express how I felt, it’s a song about growing up and escaping and just life in general. I wanted to put it in the best words possible but also detailed and keeping everyone happy.”

Two Fingers

I drink to remember, I smoke to forget
Some things to be proud of
Some stuff to regret
Run down some dark alleys in my own head
Something is changing, changing, changing

I go back to Clifton to see my old friends
The best people I could ever have met
Skin up a fat one, hide from the Feds
Something is changing, changing, changing

So I kiss goodbye to every little ounce of pain
Light a cigarette and wish the world away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive but I’m here to stay
So I hold two fingers up to yesterday
Light a cigarette and smoke it all away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive but I’m here to stay
He’s down in the kitchen drinking White Lightning
He’s with my momma, they’re yelling and fighting
It’s not the first time praying for silence
Something is changing, changing, changing

So I kiss goodbye to every little ounce of pain
Light a cigarette and wish the world away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive but I’m here to stay
So I hold two fingers up to yesterday
Light a cigarette and smoke it all away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive but I’m here to stay

There’s a story for every corner of this place
Running so hard you got out but your knees got grazed
I’m an old dog but I learned some new tricks yeah

So I kiss goodbye to every little ounce of pain
Light a cigarette and wish the world away
I got out I got out I’m alive but I’m here to stay
So I hold two fingers up to yesterday
Light a cigarette and smoke it all away
I got out I got out I’m alive but I’m here to stay

Hey, hey it’s fine
Hey, hey it’s fine
Hey, hey it’s fine
I left it behind

Jake Bugg – Lightning Bolt

The song peaked at #26 in the US Adult Alternative Songs Billboard, #15 in the UK in 2013.  The song was on his self-titled debut album. Jake is an artist that could have debuted in the 60s and 70s and fit in perfectly. I saw him in 2017 and the audience was a mixture of young and old.

Jake was 19 when this song was released. he said: “Before age 12, I had no interest in music,”  “Then, me uncle came around with a guitar and showed me basic chords. I started listening to Jimi Hendrix and it just blew me away.

“It was also disheartening. I mean, when you listen to Jimi Hendrix for the first time, you think, ‘How am I going to be able to play like that?’

He started to write songs at 14. Along with Hendrix, he counts the Beatles among his earliest musical influence “They’re a starting point for anyone, I should think. Then, I traced things back to Buddy Holly and Elvis, just discovering all those great records.”

From Songfacts

This gritty stroll through the streets of Bugg’s hometown of Clifton, Nottingham, was released as the third single from his debut album. He penned the tune with long-time Snow Patrol collaborator, Iain Archer. Bugg recalled to The Daily Telegraph: “When I was writing with Iain, we had a fag, a cup of tea, a bit of a play. The way I see it, it’s jamming.”

The song’s Michael Holyk directed video was shot in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The song featured in an American a commercial for Gatorade sports drinks that aired during the 2013 NBA championships.

Lightning Bolt

Morning, it’s another pure grey morning
Don’t know what the day is holding
When I get uptight
And I walk right into the path of a lightning bolt

Sirens of an ambulance comes howling
Right through the center of town and
No one blinks an eye
And I look up to the sky for the path of a lighting bolt

Met her as the angels parted for her
But she only brought me torture
But that’s what happens
When it’s you who’s standing in the path of a lightning bolt

Everyone I see just wants to walk with gritted teeth
But I just stand by and I wait my time
They say you gotta tow the line they want the water not the wine
But when I see the signs I jump on that lightning bolt

And chances, people tell you not to take chances
When they tell you there aren’t any answers
And I was starting to agree
But I awoke suddenly in the path of a lightning bolt

Fortune, people talking all about fortune
Do you make it or does it just call you
In the blinking of an eye
Just another passerby in the path of a lightning bolt

Everyone I see just wants to walk with gritted teeth
But I just stand by and I wait my time
They say you gotta tow the line they want the water not the wine
But when I see the signs I jump on that lightning bolt

It was silent, I was lying back gazing skyward
When the moment got shattered
I remembered what she said
And then she fled in the path of a lightning bolt