LIVE: Miles Kane @ O2 Academy Brixton
WORDS BY LISELOTTE VANOPHEM
In 2007, the music world was introduced to The Rascals, an English Indie rock band from Hoylake, Merseyside. Sadly, two years later the group was no more. However, from something bad always comes something good and in this case, it was lead singer Miles Kane. While working alongside Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, Kane decided to go full force for his own solo career and the rest is history. Two solo albums later, ‘Coup De Grac’” was released earlier this year and would mean the start of a full year of touring. After having try-out gigs in the UK in May and going to Europe in October, Kane returned back to this side of the pond at the end of the November to start his new UK tour in Glasgow. We were with Miles Kane when he played the O2 Academy Brixton in London and we can only say one thing: He certainly knows how to combine retro pop and Indie rock in the best way possible.
Is it the trend these days that there are two support acts or it’s just a coincidence that a lot of bands do that at the same time? Anyway, we get two chances to get warmed-up for Miles Kane. The first one was The Mysterines and their electrifying rock music. There are a lot of upcoming bands who decide to go for a female lead guitarist/singer being backup up by a few males bandmembers. The Mysterines are no different when it comes to that but they are unique in their own way. Because of Lia Metcalfe ’s vocals filled with rawness and rock ‘n roll, the band is often compared with the Patti Smith and The Breeders and it’s a well-deserved comparison. During the entire set, they bring rock and indie music from an incredibly high level. While the O2 Academy Brixton was relatively empty, the audience came closer to see what this great music was all about and when The Mysterines’ debut single ‘Hormone’ was unleashed, the audience really sucked up the rock ‘n roll vibe and was getting ready for a steamy night. The first hands went into the air and the first lyrics were sung alone
Something that would happen more and more during the second act of the night, Cabbage. It became clear from the start that a lot more Cabbage fans turned up than expected. The five-piece band from Mossley in Tameside started off with a bang(er) ‘Uber Capitalist Death Trade’. Full speed rock with a capital R. The high tempo songs will the key throughout the entire set. While lead singer Lee Broadbent asks to the change the volume of his microphone, the sound was great and so was the evening so far. It became even better when Cabbage closed their set with ‘Necroflat In The Palace’, the most catchy rock song that would stick into your head for the rest of the night.
Then, the O2 Academy Brixton was immensely heated-up for the main act of the evening. Just like during the previous Miles Kane gigs of this year, he chose for a silver background on which “Coup De Grace” was written as well as a disco ball coming down from the ceiling. The ‘90’s vibe was already literally in the air and when Kane entered the stage, it was complete. Dressed in a purple outfit and colourful makeup, we certainly knew that Kane grew a lot throughout his career. Growing and still very experimental. It’s was no surprise that he opened the set with ‘Silverscreen’, as a reference to his stage background. While this was a relatively quiet song to start the evening with, the tempo went through the rough from ‘Inhaler’ to ‘Too Little Too Late’. The first beer flew through the air, something that will keep going during the entire night. The classic rough indie rock songs such as ‘Cry On My Guitar’ and ‘Better Than That’ were combined with more pop-y and slower songs such as ‘Loaded’ and ‘Killing The Joke’. A few elements that were found throughout all the songs were the flair, gracefulness and rock ‘n roll Kane enchanted the audience with. Things went even more experimental and psychedelic when the first notes of ‘LA Five Four (309)’ filled the O2 Academy Brixton.
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We were halfway in the set when Kane and his band decided to decrease the tempo with songs such as ‘Rearrange’, ‘Wrong Side of Life’ and ‘Colour of the Trap’ but was still capable to obtain the high the standard we’re used to seeing and hearing from him. He even showed us his inner Donna Summer with her “Hot Stuff”. The venue already became hot stuff but the temperature raises again immensely during the ‘Coup De Grace’ and ‘Don’t Forget Who You Are’, the last two songs of his regular set. ‘Coup De, Coup’ and ‘La la la, la la la la la la. Don’t forget who you are’ was shouted along even long after the band left the stage. Not able to resist the audience, Kane came back smiling from ear to ear for two more songs. While with ‘Shavambacu’, Kane showed again his pop-y and eccentric side, ‘Come Closer’ was the perfect closer of the evening. As fast as a speed train, as catchy as any earworm and backed-up by an audience who clearly wanted to sing along for one more time. They even wanted some more encore numbers but sadly they didn’t come.
However, the audience who were able to buy a ticket for this gig got incredible value for their money. The two support bands were bands to keep an eye on as they brought rock ‘n roll and indie music just like you would expect and Miles Kane delivered an outstanding set. One in which he combined retro pop and indie rock in the best way possible.