Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Miles Kane / Folks @ HMV Institute, Tuesday 18th October 2011

Still only 25 years old Miles Kane’s now in his forth incarnation having started out in The Little Flames before becoming a Rascal then a Last Shadow Puppet (with his best bud Alex Turner). Now he’s trying the old solo approach, albeit with an impressive band behind him (including Eugene McGuiness...himself a fine solo talent), a couple of Cherry Ghost son of Beady Eye’s drummer.

First up though, Folks, fronted by rock god in waiting Scott Anderson. Long hair, leather jacket, tambourine superglued to his hand, he’s part Rod the Mod, part Steve Marriott...with a voice to match. Songwise the highlights included the Verve-ish We Are All Dead and the blues / rock of My Mother. The undeniable highpoint though was Say Something, which Scott claimed they’d only just written last week. It’s got all the makings of a classic, big phat meaty bits, heartfelt bits, catchy bits, singalong’s a bit brilliant.

With the room pretty much rammed I’d positioned myself up on the balcony next to a small but vociferous trio of young ladies, one of whom made her intentions quite clear, “Oimgonnafoooookyoumileskane” she screamed as he appeared on the stage. As chat up lines go it’s not the most sophisticated approach but full marks for effort eh? Lest he was in any doubt she went on to flash her bra at him now and then during the set too. I didn’t know where to look. Well, that’s a lie but anyway...back to the object of her affections. You can see the appeal. He’s got a real old skool pop star swagger, coming to the front of the stage during the opening number and pulling off the kind of guitar hero pose that Elvis used to strike before he deep fried and ate Memphis. The crowd go three shades of mental and a small but vigorous moshpit breaks out in the centre of the room. If Paul Weller’s the Modfather, meet Miles, the Modson. Sharply dressed and immaculately coiffered (at least he was at the start) he’s got the kind of voice (and look) that perfectly suits the 60’s feel of the material, albeit with a hint of Liam Gallagher’s sneering vowel stretching delivery. Looks are important of course but it wouldn’t mean jack if he didn’t have the tunes. Happily (with a little help from his friends) his solo album’s stuffed full of ‘em. Kane, of course, is from Liverpool. So it’s hardly surprising that the ghost’s of that city’s most famous sons haunt some of his stuff. I’m not just talking about the obvious ones either. You can trace influences of Gerry & The Pacemakers on stuff like Counting Down The Days for instance. Every single track goes down a storm, from the well known stuff like Rearrange (Beatles meets The Faces) and the edgy mod foot stomper Come Closer (during which a couple of audience members do just that, spilling over the barriers straight into the loving arms of the security) through to arguably the night’s highlight, a new track called A Woman’s Touch. Imagine The Jam doing a Northern Soul track and you’ll have some idea of what it sounds like. Could well be the big hit he’s looking for. An attacking cover of The Beatles Hey Bulldog (from the Yellow Submarine soundtrack) sees Miles paying his dues, with fine support coming from the criminally underrated Eugene McGuiness. Encore, Inhaler, prompted such wild moshing that a fair number of the crowd probably needed one and then he was off, presumably persued by a young lady on heat. Run Miles, run!

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