|Miles Kane/Eugene McGuiness - Bristol, O2 Academy - 27th April 2012|
|Written by Nev Brooks|
|Saturday, 05 May 2012 04:30|
Here we go again across the bridge and arriving in the nearby Hatchet pub for a pre-gig aperitif. Desperado and Double Tequila for a certain Lewis B, the person responsible for why I am here tonight really, and probably as good a place as any to start the review. As back in the tail end of 2011 he came back from a Kasabian gig raving about the support act that night and how this insanely talented individual going by the name of Miles Kane had blown the headliners off stage. Now right here I have to admit to a sneaky liking of Kasabian, and so my interest was suitably tweaked. What surprised me more though was that when Lew brought the LP in question home, 'Colour Of The Trap' was like a breath of fresh air blowing in over the surrounding Blaenavon hilltops, it's got a lovely retro '70's feel "ala" Marc Bolan, with some superb musicianship and choruses and hooks that you can't help being drawn into. So here I am expecting a homage to glitz and glam, and what better way to spend a Friday night than wrapped up in a '70's retro vibe. I was wrong on so many counts but that will come later!!!!
First band or should I say first artist on, and Eugene McGuiness is named after one of my favourite tipples so this should be good. What I got was in fact great, as Eugene's riding on a 70's surf punk wave, amongst many other things and at times he's drifting off into a more '50's style rock and roll vibe with songs powerful enough to catch the attention. 'Lion' in particular stands out, and as the set evolved I kept coming back to one thing, and that was the overall feel of the music was very reminiscent of the Johnny Thunders/Patti Palladin LP 'Copycats'. I will have to try and catch up with Eugene when his LP 'Invitation to the Voyage' comes out in July this year, and then hopefully we get a tour to follow, but you'll have to be quick on the ticket front. That's because the venue was absolutely rammed for Eugene's set, and bearing in mind the due date for the LP, it would appear that lots of other people are also in the "know", nudge nudge wink, wink say no more. Lovers of the Jim Jones Revue should definitely check this guy out.
So onto the main act, Miles Kane began his musical journey in a band called the Rascals, leaving and forming the Last Shadow Puppets, before finally releasing 'Colour Of The Trap' as a bonafide solo artiste. This album is the reason for me being here tonight, but the terrace chanting of "Miles", "Miles" shook me out of my reverie, what was happening to my night of retro seventies? Well it ain't happening mate, as hitting the stage to 'Rearrange' quickly followed by 'Kingcrawler', I'm wondering if the remaining members of The Clash are back together again?
Miles Kane the performer has been schooled in the art of stage presence by Paul Weller at his angriest, attitude is everything and this boy was it present in spades. Testimony perhaps was the amount of underwear now beginning to hit the stage, (I kid you not). After a few technical gremlins in the opening track, this band really hit their stride and you can tell they have paid their dues over the last year or so on the road after bagging prestigious support slots with not just Kasabian but Beady Eye as well.
On stage everything was flat out, spot on, and in your face (what happened to my retro-night?) and I think it's always the sign of a great live band when the songs on the LP change beyond belief in concert. Here the songs from 'Colour Of The Trap' go up three gears with pogoing more in keeping with the mood than any hint of those aforementioned 70's glam/pop sensibilities.
'The Responsible', a Jacques Dutronc cover (Dutronc is a French singer hugely influenced by Ray Davies of The Kinks), perhaps illustrating where Miles Kane's sound and influence began and (music to any welsh boys ears) a Tom Jones tune 'Looking Out My Window' completely changed beyond all recognition crept into the set tonight, but what we were here for tonight was 'Colour Of The Trap' and we got it all.
Stand out tracks for me were the set closer 'Inhaler' and the solitary encore 'Come Closer'. But do you know what? I felt the same at this point as when I first saw the Manic Street Preachers, I didn't need any more, and how could you better what you had just seen?
A new Mile Kane EP has just been released called 'First Of My Kind' which in all honesty is a perfectly apt title, as all the influences from The Kinks, through to Marc Bolan, and into The Clash have been thrown into this huge melting pot given a good shake and what we have is something completely different, lots of light and shade but ultimately a new sound. I would urge everyone to see this guy live and sooner rather than later as I have a feeling that his days of small venues are numbered. The sound, I'm sorry to say, was almost too big for the O2 and belongs in a much larger venue.
Oh and as a footnote I'd actually rate this gig as possibly one of my best ever, right up there alongside Janes Addiction in the Central Hotel in Birmingham!!! That enough for you to check Miles Kane out now?
CLICK HERE- to visit the Miles Kane store on Amazon