Early birds will catch the true prize at Bugg's gig
by Ryan Butcher
I'm not going to use this column to criticise Jake Bugg again. It's just too easy.
Even if he is a glorified sixth form poet with illusions of grandeur and a couple of Bob Dylan LPs tucked under his arm, there's going to be around 1,800 people packing out the Engine Shed this Sunday just to see him.
But to all those who bothered to shell out £12 for a ticket, I want to make one simple request. Get there early.
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Bugg may be the most over-hyped busker somehow masquerading as a credible recording artist since Ed Sheeran, but he'll be bringing with him two of Dublin's brightest musical prospects and two of the finest support acts Lincoln has seen in some time.
Up first, shortly after doors open at 7pm, will be Hudson Taylor.
Made up of brothers Alfie and Harry, 18 and 20 respectively, they have honed their craft tirelessly on the streets of Dublin and become a word-of-mouth favourite for their energetic live shows.
Their DIY work ethic led them to release their debut EP Battles on their own label, Craic Records, and entirely under their own steam they charted with it at number 14 on iTunes UK and number one in Ireland.
Drawing inspiration from their parents' record collection, citing Simon and Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills and Nash as particular favourites, the pair fuse classic and contemporary influences to create raw, folk-infused melodic pop.
If you placed them somewhere between Michael Kiwanuka and Ben Howard, you wouldn't be too far off the mark, with a seemingly effortless ability to switch their songs from stomping and spirited to stripped-back acoustic numbers.
They'll be followed by melodic five-piece Little Green Cars, who you may know from the BBC's Sound of 2013 list and their punchy debut single The John Wayne.
For a first single, it's bold. The harmonies are tight, the pace is fast and it has the potential to be a firm live favourite or festival anthem in the months to come. They're not ashamed to embrace their pop sensibilities, but at the same time, there's just enough indie credibility with a sound akin to early Arcade Fire or latter-day Maccabees to keep the musos and bloggers happy.
Fronted by the duo of Stevie Appleby and Faye O'Rourke, the male-female dynamic reminds me of Canadian indie darlings Stars, with each song telling its own evocative story.
Their debut album Absolute Zero is being produced by Markus Dravs, a man who has worked with both Coldplay and Bjork, and will be released in the UK on May 13.
You can expect to see them up and down the country at festivals this summer – after already confirming a slot at California's word-renowned Coachella festival.
But Lincoln, this is your chance to catch them before the hype. Take it.