sun 16/06/2024

Miles Kane, Forum | reviews, news & interviews

Miles Kane, Forum

Miles Kane, Forum

Alex Turner's Merseyside mate shows that he's no mere puppet

Miles Kane: smart clothes, smart haircut and equally smart tunesChris Milne/

Never underestimate the power of the iPod shuffle. When Miles Kane's album Colour of the Trap was released last year I liked it but still dismissed it as a fairly throwaway piece of stylishly dressed retro-fluff. Somehow though, tracks kept popping up and he eventually won me over. I wasn't alone. Songs started to appear on sports programmes and documentaries. Only moody mardy bums The xx cropped up more.

In fact just before I left the house to see Miles Kane last night he popped up during the intro to C4's 100 Most Tedious Schedule Fillers, or some similarly titled show. It clearly looked like it was going to be a Miles Kane night.

It was touch and go for a while though. Initially I thought there might be a Kane mutiny. At the start of the Forum gig the volume was so loud it was hard to decipher what song was playing, never mind the nuances of Kane's guitar solos. But he certainly looked good in a tight burgundy suit, black shirt and teased hair, very much the mod to his Arctic Monkeys chum Alex Turner's current bequiffed rocker look. There were hints of Paul Weller in the hyper-kinetic scissor kicks, flashes of Liam Gallagher in the occasional cocky swagger, but Kane was more amiable than both of them, applauding his fans almost as often as his fans applauded him.

Kane is not rock's greatest lyricist, but he is a master of the musical hook

And once the mix was under control the songs, delivered at breakneck speed, benefited from some added live verve from Kane and his four fellow musicians. Most of the tracks came from 2011's album and his recent First of My Kind EP, which foregrounded a slightly funkier, brassier side. There were few awkward moments when the audience had to listen politely to unfamiliar new songs. There was a fiery unintroduced cover of Jacques Dutronc's "The Responsible", which had more than a hint of Small Faces about it, but he has performed that before.

Kane is not rock's greatest lyricist, but he is a master of the musical hook. While the "la la la" intro of "Quicksand" sounds like the theme to kids’ cartoon The Banana Splits it certainly got everyone in the seats upstairs defying the security team and standing up. "Kingcrawler" had them clapping and stamping, while the Fifties-infused "Take The Night From Me" had couples – and there were a lot of couples along with countless damp Fred Perry-wearing lads – swaying and swooning as if it was an excerpt from the Grease soundtrack.

"Counting Down The Days" and "Telepathy" competed to be the stomp-along anthem of the night, before the breathless extended version of "Inhaler" that closed the set actually made me worry whether the balcony could survive so much sustained bouncing from the Miles high club. Perhaps the excitement was getting to Kane too. Usually so cool, he stumbled towards the end and fell over, adding a refreshing dash of Norman Wisdom comedy to the proceedings.

The encore was limited to one song, but what a song. "Come Closer" quickly turned into a deafening call-and-response routine, evoking Golden Earring's "Radar Love" channelled through a Glitterband backbeat. As Kane finally left the stage to cheers I could not quite put my finger on who he reminded me of the most. Yes, at times he felt like a Weller tribute act; yes, at times he could have been Noel Gallagher's friendlier sibling. Then I got home, turned the television and Scorsese’s Mean Streets was on. Robert De Niro's Johnny Boy was a dead ringer for Kane. It really was a Miles Kane night.

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Miles Kane performs "The Responsible"

There were hints of Paul Weller in the hyper-kinetic scissor kicks, flashes of Liam Gallagher in the occasional cocky swagger


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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Excellent review. Now I know why my 14 yr old daughter thinks this guy is a god ('"Radar Love" channelled through a Glitterband backbeat' indeed. Admittedly the video clip - 'responsible' - sounds like Them in their pomp, but as my daughter and most of Kane's other fans don't know that Them even existed that hardly matters.

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