Nottingham

Has Jake Bugg inspired a groundswell of new music in Nottingham?

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Media captionDean Jackson says Nottingham's music scene is on the up

His gritty lyrics and musical talent have put Nottingham on the map, but is Jake Bugg's home city rapidly growing momentum as a hotbed of new music?

In the Confetti recording studio, just on the fringe of Nottingham city centre, up-and-coming band Kappa Gamma are preparing to record their latest EP, Akira.

It is the same studio where Jake Bugg recorded many of his early tracks.

"I've never known things so busy" said Pete Fletcher, head of independent label Denizen, who also runs the recording space.

Surge in DIY labels

"We've got acts coming from around the country now to make records here. We've already had a few this year from London as well as Manchester and Sheffield."

Mr Fletcher, who set up the label three years ago, said he had noticed a surge in DIY labels cropping up in and around the city.

Meanwhile, music magazine NME said in the past 12 months they had been contacted by readers asking them to write more about Nottingham's music scene.

Image caption Bands like Kappa Gamma, from Nottingham, explore the grittier side of life

"It's important bands can get a long way without having to move to London and now the success of artists like Jake is giving a confidence to the city," Mr Fletcher said.

"When we are talking to the national press and media there seems to be a buzz coming from Nottingham."

This change in perception has been picked up by the BBC Radio Nottingham presenter Dean Jackson, who helped discover a 15-year-old Jake Bugg.

Diversity of talent

"Unbelievably we are now finding lots of artists pretending to be from this area," he said.

"We are getting bands claiming to be from Nottingham and they're using their grandma's address, even though they actually live in Camden in London."

He said support from local promoters, the explosion of social networking and the diversity of talent in the city is feeding into the rapidly-growing industry.

The city has always had a strong reputation for live music with the great and good gracing the blackened interiors of the music venue Rock City.

Over the last three decades the roll-call has included everyone from grunge royalty, like Nirvana and Sonic Youth, to music legends such as The Smiths, Guns N' Roses and LL Cool J.

But 19-year-old Julian Hanson, who plays guitar for Kappa Gamma, said increasingly Nottingham bands were being given stage time too.

"There is a good team of promoters too who are excited about putting events on and I can't think of one in Nottingham that wouldn't make sure the artists get paid," he said.

In July Jake Bugg will headline Nottingham festival Splendour, where he has performed on a much smaller scale in the past, while Dog is Dead, having returned from touring with Two Door Cinema Club, are regularly seen performing in their home city.

A thirst for authenticity could be one of the driving forces helping local bands to break into the industry according to Jenny Stevens, deputy news editor for NME.

'Groundswell of new music'

"The success of artists like Jake Bugg, Adele and Katy B are examples of songwriters that aren't afraid to explore the less glamorous side of their hometowns," she said.

"Major record labels are searching for those voices and are increasingly looking outside of London to find them."

NME's new music editor Matt Wilkinson added: "I wouldn't say Nottingham's at the Madchester or Merseybeat stage yet but there's definitely a groundswell of new music happening in the city.

Image caption Indie band Dog is Dead continue to perform in the city

"People have been writing to us asking why we aren't doing more about the city. It's quite rare that happens.

"Somebody like Jake Bugg simply likes singing and writing songs. He wears his influences on his sleeve - he's not an X Factor pop star. It's quite a long time since we've had somebody like that in the UK. He's sold 500,000 records which is quite insane for a new artist."

According to a study by the music streaming service Spotify, Nottingham was ranked second most musical city, with London in first place.

While it is only one indicator of musical trends, it does suggest there is a strong appetite for music in the city.

Back in the recording studio, Pete Fletcher seems keen to capitalise on Nottingham's new-found kudos.

"It does seem to be growing but we have to make sure we make the most of it, otherwise it will be a passing trend that just moves on to another city or town," he said.

And while Jake Bugg may have lost out to Emili Sandé for an Ivor Novello award for best song, there is certainly a mood of optimism about the future potential of Nottingham's music scene.

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