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Miles Kane

LIVE: Miles Kane @ O2 Academy Brixton


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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@mileskane doing his thing in Brixton last night

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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.

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Every month Twang go through the best new releases and – as ever – this month there have been a bunch of records to get lost in. To make it a bit easier for everyone involved, they do the hard work and pick out the top four albums at the moment – to create: Four Play! In no particular order…

ROLLING BLACKOUTS Coastal Fever – ‘Hope Downs’

The debut album from Australian quintet Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever is thirty-five minutes of upbeat contemporary indie. With the three lead singles making up the front end of the album, the first track, ‘An Air Conditioned Man’ continues their speedy, unique riff laden music. Followed by ‘Talking Straight’ & ‘Mainland’ the album sucks you straight in.

After releasing two six track EP’s since formation, in a relatively short space of time, surely the songs that would typically make up that debut album had already been used. Don’t be daft. With three singer-songwriters in the bands, it becomes clear that the creativity in the band is coming from many different avenues. Despite this though, the themes in the songs seem intertwined, and displays how tight the members are.

It is some feat in this era of music to make a record that has this much power, with such a simple formula at its core. It is incredibly hard to pick stand out songs from this album, it’s a modern day masterpiece that deserves all the recognition it is getting. Proving that despite what the pop charts might be championing, guitar music that is this good is never really going to go away. – Andy

RBCF return to the UK this autumn at Manchester Academy 2 on Friday 19th October

Aydio – ‘Inversion’

The best electronic music evokes deep emotion in you, even though there is no lyrics to orchestrate and pull on your heart strings. Aydio manages to capture your attention on almost every track of ‘Inversion’, this is not to say it’s a melancholic piece, not in one bit.

The opening track ‘Surface of Revolution’ starts smartly enough but breaks and cascades into soaring beaut. About 2 minutes in, you know you are dealing with an elite level album. There is no, what you would class as discernible beat on there. ‘Taurus’, lets strings dive and echo throughout the song, but then on ‘Sonrisa’ (the next track), he compensates with a heavy 4×4 beat interplayed with filtered flamenco-guitar sounding riffs.

Reading an interview with him, the man behind Aydio – Adam Harper – doesn’t have a set way to build music and draws his influence from all types of world music. This shines through loud and clear in his music. You feel a suggestion of an instrument in every track and you could maybe identify a country, but which country that may be, you can never quite pin it down. I compare this to Caribou, not because it sounds the same (because it doesn’t), but because it’s electronic music that you can daydream to, get surges of positivity to or completely break your heart to. But you’re not exactly sure why. – Mal

Miles Kane – ‘Coup De Grace’

Is it too early to start calling Miles Kane a legend of Brit Rock & Roll? Maybe so, but he is certainly on his way. His third solo album ‘Coup de Grace’ is a fierce tirade of his trademark tunes; interspersed with glam rock offerings. His last musical release was on behalf of The Last Shadow Puppets and this time round he has teamed up with pal Jamie T and Lana Del Rey for his solo release. With those names at the helm, how could it possibly go wrong?

Where his TLSP bandmate, Alex Turner, took the Arctic Monkeys down a more crooner and lounge-esque path, ‘Coup De Grace’ plays right into the hands of those that love a chorus to sing-a-long to and to lose themselves at sweat drenched gigs.

His formula hasn’t changed particularly, with the guitar riffs and melodies flowing like they have on his other records. This is classic Miles Kane, but the key album moments come on the slower, moodier, glam tracks. Lead single ‘Loaded’, was where Miles worked with Lana Del Rey and it produces a euphoric chorus, depicting the trials and tribulations of an ending relationship.

‘Coup de Grace’ is the albums highlight, a rolling bass walks through the tracks intro, before the echoing lyrics explode into the chorus and funky guitar come to the fore. ‘Cry On My Guitar’ has Bolan written all over it, a real true pounding drum beat hammers home throughout the whole track.

This will be a certified instant hit with the core Miles Kane supporters. His love for his craft is what makes it spectacular. Trialling the songs in small venues and intimate gigs all around the UK shows how much passion he has for just playing his music to the fans. He states on Twitter ‘Keep it simple and real and you can’t go wrong’. Never a truer word spoken.

Clearance – ‘At Your Leisure’

We have always been admirers of smart snappy roilling guitar music. Underlining that very fact is our review of Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever’s album this month. Well please allow me to wade in with another.

I happened across another review of this album and it centred on what the reviewer perceived as blandness, which I feel completely misses the point. Sure the tone of this album remains the same as the previous one, the effects of the guitar and the pitch of Mark Bellis’s vocals remains the same as it always has. And it’s also true when a band takes this approach, you definitely don’t get the soaring peaks and troughs you get with other albums. But when an album in its entirety is this good, then the gamble has paid off handsomely.

The album cracks along, the opener ‘Chances are’ immediately drags you in with bright jangly guitar and warm understated vocals. The tone is set. I interpret this album entirely as consistently, subtlety brilliant. If you are a fan of bands such as Quilt or Ultimate Painting, then you will appreciate this album. I haven’t stopped listening to the album and it really does gets better with each listen. Trust me. It’s a great little album to have in your collection to turn to when you need a smile putting on your face. At your leisure indeed. – Mal

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