Miles Kane has been performing on the indie circuit since the ripe old age of 18, first entertaining crowds as a guitarist with The Flames and The Rascals, and following this, sharing lead responsibilities with fellow alternative frontman Alex Turner in The Last Shadow Puppets. Since 2009, after his last tour with The Rascals, Miles Kane has been embarking on his solo career – taking great inspiration from the definitive ‘60s Mod scene. Kane has currently released three solo albums, with his latest release Coup De Grace showcasing him as a rock and roll chameleon, able to adapt to a diverse set of musical influences and environments. He oozes swagger and embodies everything that live music is about, taking crowds on time-travelling extravaganzas, back to the swinging sixties and forward again to the present day – all in one set.
Clearly brimming with confidence after a string of releases including Can You See Me Now, and Blame It On The Summertime, Kane took to the stage in a month long tour at the tailend of 2019, making a pit stop at Bristol’s SWX. So, I stuck my Pretty Green paisley number on, laced up my Dr Martens and headed to see the man himself.
Kane’s support came from Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard – a promising quartet from the Welsh capital that have already supported other notable indie fixtures, including The Magic Gang and The Mysterines. The dance floor begins to fill with a fervently waiting crowd, ready to see lead singer Tom Rees and co strut their rhythmic stuff. Buzzard open with a song suitable for the occasion, Late Night City – a glitzy psychedelic banger that draws teasingly from their Welsh wizard influences Boy Azooga and Super Furry Animals. The crowd are already on board – launching their arms into the abyss in attempts to reproduce Rees’ lucid body movements. It is difficult not to compare Tom Rees to a young Mick Jagger, or even Sports Team frontman Alex Rice, as he continues to channel the band’s gusto into his out of body experience. They save debut track Double Denim Hop till the end, which is met by a ruckus of jeers and screams, ensuring every member of the crowd is moving and grooving; the appreciative applause continuing long after the band complete the set.
out of the disorientating fog, whirling stage lights and a greeting of ‘Miles, Miles F****** Kane’ chants, the long-awaited headliner and his entourage arrive
Following the support, out of the disorientating fog, whirling stage lights and a greeting of ‘Miles, Miles F****** Kane’ chants, the long-awaited headliner and his entourage arrive. He looks as rock and roll as ever – with new bleached surfer blonde hair and donning a polka dot shirt/ silk cravat combination. Kane opens the proceedings with the titular album track Coup De Grace, enhancing the hyped atmosphere from Buzzard’s warm up and igniting his doting followers.
The audience descend into a frenzied hysteria with crowd surfers being erected into the heavens
The set continues to roll on successfully throughout the evening, with Kane disbanding King Crawler, Telepathy and a classic rendition of Rearrange from his extensive repertoire. The audience descend into a frenzied hysteria with crowd surfers being erected into the heavens, as mosh pits continue to explode across the central section of the dancefloor. Kane provides little respite by smashing out Killing The Joke and ensuring his worshippers continue to recite his Mod-God lyrics.
The atmosphere is completely electric at this point – the set has retained undeniable quality all night. The tune of the night is Come Closer, a chance that Kane took to build a lyrical unison with his supporters, by singing the final chorus acapella along with the audience. Leaving the stage, Kane and the band showcase their appreciation for the Bristol crowd with an appreciative, ‘I love you, Bristol!’ proudly ringing through the SWX soundsystem.
Photo by Lauren Dukoff