I concede for Miles – on the line with the happening Miles Kane

522053_10151549852268326_1024798562_nThere’s a bit of a stir being created about Miles Kane at the moment, this affable lad from Birkenhead making a big impression on audiences around the UK and beyond.

He’s certainly put the leg-work in over recent years too, with plenty of prestigious support roles, and lots of big names featuring on his records.

Now the former Rascals front-man – Alex Turner’s co-driver in The Last Shadow Puppets – is enjoying his own headline tour.

Miles is selling out several shows en route – including one at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room the day we caught up.

The same goes for visits to Brighton Concorde 2 and Liverpool Olympia, on a tour where he’s clearly relishing the small venue vibe.

But Miles also has a couple of bigger dates too, not least those with his Arctic Monkeys buddies at London’s Finsbury Park in late May.

And he has a series of further outdoor appearances ahead, including Kendal Calling in early August then V Festival appearances in Essex and Staffordshire.

Furthermore, he’s all over Europe this summer, with festivals in Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Russia and Hungary.

But you get the feeling that – while the music press is carefully tracking his progress – success won’t change this personable 28-year-old.

And his live shows suggest there’s plenty of mutual respect with his loyal audience and his four-piece band.

It took us a while to get a connection as he was ‘roaming the streets of Edinburgh’ with his drummer, ‘the extraordinaire, Jay Sharrock’, who also happens to feature in Liam Gallagher’s band, Beady Eye.

Miles-Kane-2-500x671Asked if he was taking in the sights of Auld Reekie, he wasn’t so sure, telling me, “Nah mate, just strolling around, trying to find a coffee’.

We spoke about that night’s sell-out and the others already confirmed, and I put it to Miles that he must be on a creative high at present.

“It’s been fun – a lot of fun, and you can’t ask any more from the crowds that have been turning up.”

We spoke briefly about his Blackpool show on the tour – not so far from my neck of the woods – and he added: “Yeah. That was great. Actually, it was the first time we’d played there – like a lot of these cities on this tour.

“This whole thing just feels like it’s getting bigger … and broadening … it’s getting wider … and it’s getting taller!

You can’t argue with that logic. And I get the feeling Miles can’t be serious about it for too long. He’s having too much of a good time.

Miles seems to be at the vanguard of a number of fresh new acts on the up – a relative glut of proper singer-songwriters and honest rock’n’roll or rhythm’n’blues acts.

“I guess so, I’ve been around a while though, so maybe this is more like a farewell tour! But I’m better than all those younger bands. I do have that to my advantage.”

I don’t think he’s being big-headed. It’s more tongue-in-cheek. If anything, it’s a justified belief in his own talent.

Support Role: Telegram are on the road with Mikes Kane at present

Support Role: Telegram are on the road with Mikes Kane at present

How does he get on with his support act, Anglo–Welsh four piece Telegram? And does he tend to stick around and listen to their set each night?

“Yeah. I go and have a quick watch. They’re a really good band, and I love their tunes, like the single Follow. Really cool.”

I heartily agree with that sentiment, having just watched the video for that single. Have a look via YouTube, but try and get to the end of this feature first. It’s only polite.

Anyway, Miles cut his teeth with The Rascals, a band that evolved from his first project, The Little Flames, winning valuable supports along the way with fellow Liverpool acts The Coral and The Zutons as well as Arctic Monkeys.

He went solo in 2009, having by then already seen success with Alex Turner in acclaimed ’60s-tinged side-project The Last Shadow Puppets.

theageoftheunderstatementThe pair became good mates during an Arctics tour, their 2008 debut album, The Age of the Understatement, consequently reaching No.1. But you probably knew that.

In 2011, Miles’ first solo album, The Colour of the Trap, reached No.11, with half of the tracks co-written with Alex.

More prestigious guest slots continued, including those with The Courteeners, Beady Eye and Kasabian, as well as the Arctics.

Then came last year’s Don’t Forget Who You Are, with more big names involved, peaking at No.8 this time, its three singles and headline-making Glastonbury appearances keeping his profile high.

If Miles’ solo work is still new to you, it’s difficult to know how to explain his appeal. But there’s clearly a ’60s Liverpool meets sharp-suited Mod thing going on.

17464796x-467x467There’s also a Lennon-like quality, as well as that Arctics-type delivery. But it’s not just that.

Maybe seek out his website and sample the sub-three minute perfect pop of Better Than That, or the two album title tracks -the similarly-infectious Don’t Forget Who You Are and more mellow, Marc Bolan-esque Colour of the Trap.

So I’m guessing this tour is leading up to the third Miles Kane solo album?

“That’s the plan. Hopefully we’ll get something recorded by the end of the year. That would be great, releasing a new album maybe next year.”

Is this a good time to try out the songs on your public, seeing their reaction to them and adapting as you go?

“Yeah, and we’re still busy, so that’s the best way, with this part of the tour followed by loads of festival dates.”

22878b7b564b3fac91ff190207833b92-378x378Will it be nice to have your name at the top of the bill this time around, after so many top support roles over recent years?

“It will. These last few years we’ve really connected with audiences, and now we’re carrying that on – in the interests of getting better all the time.”

On that last album alone, there were contributions from highly-influential artists right up this blogger’s street, not least Paul Weller, Lightning Seeds’ mastermind Ian Broudie, XTC frontman Andy Partridge, and producer/songwriter Guy Chambers.

So will there be a few guest appearances on the new album, when it sees the light of day?

“Who knows, man. I’m very close to some of those people now. It’s still early days, but we’ll continue to do our stuff and just see what happens.”

You’re clearly on top of your game, with lots of new songs to the fore and quickly becoming crowd favourites.

“Nice of you to say. I hope so, man. It’s a strange one, writing songs. Sometimes it’s very easy, other times a lot harder.

“We just want to keep this live feel we’ve got. It’s happening out there, so you want that on your records.

“We want this rock’n’roll, sexy soul riff we’ve got going on. That’s the way forward!”

Getting to know all those revered songwriters must rub off on you too, taking on their influences.

“I think so. Everyone you work with, it tends to rub off on you. And you learn some more by listening to records.”

103109_2Are there likely to be a few famous guest slots on this part of the tour?

“No guests. Not really. Well, I don’t think so, anyway. What are you doing next Thursday?”

He’s off again. There’s plenty of swagger with Miles. But quite a bit of charm too.

After all that’s been happening in the Crimea, does it worry you, playing Moscow this summer?

“No. It won’t affect us. We went there a couple of years ago and we had a great time. I’m looking forward to it, and everywhere else.”

All this time out on the road probably means you’ve missed out on seeing your beloved Liverpool FC too.

“True. I haven’t been to a game for a while, but they’ve been very good in my absence.”

Miles-Kane-6-500x668With our time almost up, I quickly ask Miles about his band, and how it feels to be trading under his name alone, while there’s clearly a proper group ethic about it all.

Are they – namely Ben Parsons on keyboards, Phill Anderson on bass, George Moran on rhythm guitar and vocals , and afore-mentioned drummer Jay Sharrock – good company?

“The band are pretty tight. That’s the other thing really. I couldn’t do what I’m doing now without them.

“I couldn’t put on such a great show, if it wasn’t for the boys in the band. They’re a great bunch of lads, and we’ve hit a great stride. Sound!”

And with that, Miles is away, presumably to finally find that coffee then get ready for another wild night in front of an adoring audience – starting as he means to go on.

For  details of Miles’ tour dates this year and the latest news from the Kane camp, head to his website here

This is a revised edition of a Malcolm Wyatt feature written for the Lancashire Evening Post. You can find the original piece here.

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About writewyattuk

A freelance writer and family man being swept along on a wave of advanced technology, but somehow clinging on to reality. It's only a matter of time ... A highly-motivated scribbler with a background in journalism, business and life itself. Away from the features, interviews and reviews you see here, I tackle novels, short stories, copywriting, ghost-writing, plus TV, radio and film scripts for adults and children. I'm also available for assignments and write/research for magazines, newspapers, press releases and webpages on a vast range of subjects. You can also follow me on Facebook via https://www.facebook.com/writewyattuk/ and on Twitter via @writewyattuk. Legally speaking, all content of this blog (unless otherwise stated) is the intellectual property of Malcolm Wyatt and may only be reproduced with permission.
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One Response to I concede for Miles – on the line with the happening Miles Kane

  1. Pingback: Miles Kane / Telegram – Preston 53 Degrees (March 31, 2014) | writewyattuk

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