Miles Kane : Manchester Academy : Live Review

Miles Kane

Manchester Academy
 26th April 2012
Live review

Upon seeing Kane in his first band The Little Flames five years ago, it was clear he was a guitarist fast outgrowing his first group. The fire and skill that has so long been the hallmark of Miles Kane has finally found a suitable home in the five piece solo outfit he currently fronts, and it’s no surprise that Paul Weller has taken him under his wing with recording sessions soon to be underway. As he struts onto the stage, Kane is clearly riding on the rapturous reception that the sold out Manchester audience is giving him. Clad in a sharp burgundy one button tonic suit, Kane begins the set with single ‘Rearrange’. An excitable audience, made up of both frantic teenage fans and middle aged veteran connoisseur, lap up the huge pop chorus and screaming guitar riff.

Kane’s former band The Rascals may have had the big, delay heavy guitars but often lacked the big tunes that Kane’s pulled out of the bag with his solo debut. ‘Better Left Invisible’, the slow burning stomp that shoplifts ever so slightly from Lennon’s ‘Cold Turkey’ showcases the very best of Kane as an onstage performer with all the pomp and guitar showmanship of a younger Pete Townsend; cutting a fantastic onstage figure, pouting and duck walking like a teenage boy in his bedroom (in the best possible way).

It’s almost a year since Miles Kane released debut solo record ‘Colour of the Trap’, with which Kane managed to successfully silence the constant mutterings against his ability to match up to the indie peers he’s so often partnered with. Indeed, 2008’s Mercury nominated chart-topping LP ‘The Age of the Understatement’ by Miles Kane and Alex Turner’s The Last Shadow Puppets, has in many ways proved to be an albatross for Kane as he found his feet as a solo artist. In interviews around the release of his ‘Colour of the Trap’, Kane spoke of a lack of confidence in his own material due to the naysaying, and it’s clear that a year on that lack of confidence is anything but an issue.

Style Council-esque ‘Quicksand’ wears its shimmering girl group pop influences proudly on its sleeve, and is a notable departure from the eerie punk-shoegaze of the Rascals and the Scott Walker tinged atmospheric Last Shadow Puppets. New single ‘First Of My Kind” continues in this vein, and it’s clear that Kane is developing a strong talent for crafting the kind of guitar music that Radio One should be backing. Whilst the middle of the set sags somewhat heavily with album tracks, new material and b-sides, the game is upped by the pairing of a stripped down mid-tempo airing of album title track ‘Colour of the Trap’ with the glam rock inferno that is debut solo single ‘Inhaler’ – not just the first asthma influenced pop song but one of 2010’s finest singles (with a riff taken from 60s garage outfit ‘the Music Machine’). Like the best backing groups, Miles Kane’s bequiffed and equally sharply dressed accompaniment in no way resemble session musicians and the tightness this brings adds much to the proceedings, elevating set closer ‘Come Closer’ to the dimensions of the arena’s that Miles Kane’s been recently playing in support for Kasabian.

Whilst prospects on the collaboration front are still exciting – with a new Last Shadow Puppets album on the cards and an impending duet with the Modfather – the 26 year old Liverpudlian so often depicted as ever the bridesmaid and never the bride, has emerged tonight as a big player in very much his own right.


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