Live Music + Gig Reviews

Miles Kane @ Queen Of Hoxton, London

11 December 2010

Stepping out of the shadows. He might not like it, but every article before his solo album is released in February will start with a reference to the critically acclaimed, chart-topping side project The Last Shadow Puppets. But even in a two man band, Miles played second fiddle (if only in terms of celebrity) to the Arctic Monkeys‘ front man Alex Turner.

Judging by his claims that his new album is “all about me”, this isn’t how Kane likes things. And judging by this intimate gig in the bowels of a Shoreditch bar, he is destined to become more than just the other guy from the Last Shadow Puppets.

With few people familiar with the songs and a significant proportion of the crowd clearly there for the Queen of Hoxton’s club night, Kane had to work hard to start with to gain their approval. Kicking off with the hard-hitting Better Left Invisible, Kane immediately had their attention. By Fantasy, at the mid-point, he had their interest. By the time he played Inhaler, Kane had more than their approval; he had their admiration.

With a glint in his eye, Kane led a set of spiky, vigorous guitar rock ‘n’ roll tracks. This was going to be all about him. Nevertheless, throughout the set, countless influences are echoed, with hints of The Coral on Fantasy, The Clash on Quicksand and undertones of the Shadow Puppets at the core of everything. Quicksand is a sing-along anthem in the making, single Inhaler is a rollicking rock gem and Come Closer is filled with riff heavy swagger.

This was Miles Kane, the front man. There are songs here that showcase his ability to write witty, smart and observant lyrics, backed up perfectly by sharp and energetic rock music. He’ll play bigger venues and have more knowledgeable crowds by the end of 2011, but having starred in, had success with and left behind him three successful bands, the impression is that Kane wants to be the centre of his own universe. Not wallowing in the past glories of Shadow Puppets success, Kane looks like he’s making something of his own that deserves the same level of appreciation.

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Miles Kane @ Queen Of Hoxton, London