REVIEW: Jake Bugg + G!rlband + Galaxy Thief


Jake Bugg's show on 11 December was the first flat floor concert at Lighthouse for five years and student journalist Luke Hills was there to see what happened. The BUzz news reporter also met up with Swanage-based support band Galaxy Thief ahead of the biggest indoor gig of their career so far.


Jake Bugg delivered a sensational performance to hundreds of his fans inside the Lighthouse Concert Hall where the 29-year-old singer-songwriter’s performance was incredibly well received by an audience who turned up in their masses.

Bugg was supported by Swanage band Galaxy Thief who opened the show in an impressive fashion with a set, which included their latest singles Last Chance and Come Alive.

They were followed up by the Nottingham trio G!rlband whose performance added to the already rising atmosphere inside, setting the stage perfectly for Bugg’s entrance.
The show started off to thunderous applause as he opened with Me and You and Note to Self, but the set sprang to life as Bugg strapped on his electric guitar and unleashed Messed Up Kids onto the audience.

The pace of the show, along with the noise, seemed to get louder and louder as Slumville Sunrise sent fans young and old into a frenzy. The song featured a breath-taking guitar solo from Bugg who showcased his undeniable talent as a performer as well as his ability to get any crowd rocking.

Bugg slowed things down with a heart-breaking rendition of Broken, which showcased both his expertise as a guitarist as well as his ability to create hauntingly powerful emotions through his songwriting.

It was the audience that helped elevate the gig to the next level as their enthusiasm, along with a cardboard cut-out of Bugg, was met with a smile from the one on stage who commended the audience: “You’re a very lovely crowd I have to say.”

Bugg then rewarded the audience with two songs that are yet to be released – All Kinds of People and Zombieland, which went down just as well as you’d expect.

Bugg promised the crowd a singalong and delivered with perhaps his biggest song Lightning Bolt, followed by What Doesn’t Kill You and Simple Pleasures, once again mesmerising the audience with his skill on the guitar.

He finished the show with All I Need, the perfect song to round off an unforgettable night of rock and roll in the iconic venue.

Bugg continues with his UK tour, playing shows up and down the country, but he is unlikely to be forgotten by the many fans that had their minds blown by his performance at Lighthouse.


Indie-rock band Galaxy Thief were set to play in front of as many as 1,500 people as the opening act for singer-songwriter Jake Bugg.  

Galaxy Thief were formed in 2017 and are named after an incident involving a chocolate bar stolen from drummer Ben Watton, 28, when he left the house. He said “It lead to one of the guys walking in once and saying ‘Alright, Galaxy Thief.’ We were like: oh, that’s a pretty sick band name.” 

The band’s current line up consists of: Rhys Messenger (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), George Bowerman (lead guitar), Jake Trim (bass) and Ben Watton (drums). 

Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Rhys Messenger, 24, joined in 2021 and auditioned for the band after hearing about them via Instagram Live.  

Watton believes that it is the band’s live shows that set them apart from other bands in the indie-rock genre, which makes the gig at Lighthouse vital for the band to expand their fanbase. 

Galaxy Thief are inspired by bands such as Nothing But Thieves and The 1975 and are keen to follow their footsteps and burst onto the scene of mainstream music. 

When it comes to dealing with nerves leading up to the gig, Messenger said: “I’m a bit of a verbal diarrhoea kind of person.

“You have to look carefully at how you act on stage… that’s where my main nerves come from.” 

Watton said being prepared is the most important thing to consider going into such an important gig for the band.  

He went on to say: “There’s nothing worse than having a big important gig and then you turn up and you don’t feel prepared for it.” 

Since its opening in 1978, Lighthouse has hosted a variety of acts such as Blondie, Kate Bush, The Jacksons and rock royalty such as KISS, U2 and Kings of Leon.  Originally named Poole Arts Centre, the venue was renamed Lighthouse in October 2002.

Messenger, said he was aware of the amount of people that have played there.

He went on to say: “I’m so excited, it’s going to be so good.”

The band is hopeful that the gig at Lighthouse will be an opportunity for them to reach heights similar to the artists that have previously played at the venue. 

(Luke Hills)

Photo by Charlie Speck