Thursday 27 March 2014

Live Review: Miles Kane, Cardiff Solus 25/03/2014

If for some odd reason you were roaming the streets of Cardiff Tuesday night thinking "That's funny, I've not seen a single Fred Perry jacket or turtle neck wearer this whole eve", then don't panic, they were all at Miles Kane's gig. It might yet not have been midweek but that didn't stop the party atmosphere inside the sold out student union from going off as Miles brought his Mod reviving army to Welsh soil, midway through his second UK tour in support of 'Don't Forget Who You Are'. Still revelling in his success selling out shows up and down the country not to mention a stellar performance at last year's Glastonbury fest I think it's safe to say Miles is at the top of his game and tonight has truly proven why.

As the lights finally dimmed the band wasted no time in ramping up the energy propelling the crowd in to Inhaler, Counting Down The Days and King Crawler. If anyone had a drink in their hand at the start they most certainly didn't now as cold beer became strewn across the room (thankfully on this occasion it was only beer with these kind of crowds known all too well for their piss throwing antics). It was 4 songs in before we got to hear any of the second record as the audience got treated to a show stopping performance of Better Than That. With epilepsy inducing strobe lights flashing from the stage illuminating his disciples Miles pranced around lapping up every moment. Over the years many frontmen have come and gone but few have managed to maintain such a large ego with a likable persona to match. It's so clear to see just how much he appreciates what he has, basking in the limelight, especially so when he gets some friendly rivalry off the ground between the left, centre and right crowd in a cheering match.

Between songs the room's filled with chants of "Miles Miles Miles" as the sound of reverberated guitars echoed throughout, doused in effects reminiscent of his stint in The Rascals. Having been to 100s of gigs over the years there's only 2 bands that can hold a crowd in the palm of their hands with such control (the other being the Courteeenrs) as audience members cling on to every word screaming the rest back at the top of their lungs. I've yet to see such involvement from both fans and band alike at any other show. And this tour proves to be no different as Kane expels the fluctuating riffs to b-side Little Illusion Machine (Wirral Riddler) before Give Up sees a delightful 'Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil' reprise. Speaking to the crowd in a brief opportunity Kane sends his gratitude to fellow musician pal Gruff Rhys with a song dedication sent his way before the place erupts to Rearrange, bodies crashing together as they jumped around ecstatically.

Miles swaggers back on to the stage for a 2 track encore treating the crowd to a solo rendition of Colour Of the Trap before his band members rejoined for the floor shaking title song off his second album Don't Forget Who You Are. There's really nothing quite like its catchy, hook-laden verses to bring the show to a close, not before Miles exercises the audience one final time simply singing A cappella in to the mic "la la la...." before the place extravasates returning a "la la la la la laaa....Don't forget who you are". His smile says it all.

Photo courtesy of Elis Jackson

Support for the evening came in the form of Telegram, a London four-piece who slot in nicely alongside fellow psych-inspired rockers Temples and Toy. As their set built through sprawling reverberated guitars there was a true sense of 70s glam in the air as they stood with long hair and suede shirts parading around the stage. Crouching down to alternate between effects lead singer Matt Saunders revels in the swelling nature of their layered guitars, single 'Follow' being the sets highlight for many with its driving percussion and energetic guitar riffs. It's quite shameful that before tonight I was completely unaware of the band's Welsh heritage but upon hearing Saunders thank the crowd between songs it's unmistakable. Whilst maybe a support band this evening I'm sure it won't be long before they themselves are headlining venues of a similar size.

Miles Kane's second album 'Don't Forget Who You Are' is out now. 



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