Miles Kane Rocks Bristol’s O2 Academy On His One Man Band Tour

Many great bands and artists have come from the Merseyside area over the years, Birkenhead born Miles Kane is just one of those, and he brings his One Man Band show to Bristol tonight. For a while he played in The Last Shadow Puppets alongside Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner, and with the band currently taking a second hiatus, this has allowed Miles to focus on his solo project. Tonight’s show like most of the tour is a sell-out.

Miles Kane @ Bristol Academy

Miles Kane @ Bristol Academy
Miles Kane @ Bristol Academy

Joining them on tour are The Royston Club, four lads from Wrexham who are promoting their recent album Shaking Hips And Smashing Cars. The Wrexham band played an enthusiastic set that went down incredibly well, I couldn’t help but noticed the Welsh dragon proudly tied to the rhythm guitarist’s microphone stand. Of their set Mariana was my personal favourite but from what I can gather also appeared to be a crowd favourite. I do wonder how many people made the trip down to Bristol from Wrexham, while it may not be their closest gig but it was on a weekend. Vocalist Tom thanked everyone telling them “Bristol, you were wonderful as always”. For further information on the band, I found it amusing the lads have a separate Instagram page entitled Royston Grub detailing where and what to eat when they’re on tour, how cool is that? As they left the stage the whole venue was buzzing in anticipation for the main act.

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At about 9pm the lights dimmed and out came the main act, before Miles had even struck a chord the crowd went wild, lots of screaming right behind me that was deafening at the time, but he is a very good-looking guy and was named in 2015 as one of GQ’s best dressed men. Kicking off the set he launched was Troubled Son quickly followed by Better Than That and The Best Is Yet To Come. The charismatic singer simply commands the stage as he struts around with his guitar, looking out into the audience with that swagger that reminded me of a well know Mancunian vocalist. As a unit the whole band were enjoying themselves and were in full flow.

Although this tour was to promote his recent album One Man Band, the set included songs from Coupe De Grace, and Colour Of The Trap. The crowd were loving it, and as the ex The Last Shadow Puppets co-front man told them “Bristol let me feel the energy”, it was incredible in there, as he began playing Inhaler, with the drummer giving it all, I found myself reminded me of Animal, of The Muppets, with his energetic playing style.

Slowing things down after such a dynamic opening few songs was Heal, it gave off Lennonesque vibes with a gorgeous intro and clever weaving riff that runs through it, a beautiful song that works so well on his recent album. Baggio followed, apparently a song written about his favourite footballer, personally I felt it wasn’t as strong as the others, but well received nonetheless.

As a frontman, the Wirral born artist is fantastic, he’s got the swagger, the stage presence and playing guitar he’s visibly entertaining, the way he crouches, leans back, and interacts with his band, all excellent in their own right but come together well as a band and put on a fantastic show. It’s more than that though, he interacts with his audience in an incredible way, at one point even wishing someone a Happy Birthday. Lots of dancing, arm waving and arm waving later the crowd were singing back singing their Aaaaaaaahs and Woooaaaaahs. It would be fair to say they loved him, and he was loving their participation.

A recording booms out over the PA “As Long As I Can Remember I Always Wanted To Be A Gangster”, and straight into Never Taking Me Alive. All too soon the gig ended and we were all left wanting more, and for an encore the impression given was to go out on a high, bursting into Don’t Forget Who You Are, the title track from a previous album.

The tour continues on into next month, and is pretty much sold out, and I can see why. What a performance, and incredible show from a talented guitarist that appears to have gone under the radar for far too many for far too long. I know I will be seeing him again, if last night’s show was anything to go by.

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Live review and photography of Miles Kane @ O2 Bristol Academy by Sam Holt on 26th January 2024.

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