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MILES KANE/ FINDLAY / ALISTAIR SHEERIN @ THE RUBY LOUNGE, MANCHESTER 02/06/13 – REVIEW BY MELANIE SMITH

Miles Kane, the former Arctic Monkeys, Last Shadow Puppets man, but now going solo, and the cover boy of the NME, (this week) is playing Manchester tonight. He can do no wrong at the moment, and he’s chosen to play a special intimate show at the Ruby Lounge, the punters snapped up tickets ferociously. He’s here to promote his favourite small venues, and to reveal some tracks from his new album, (produced by another famous scouser Ian Broudie) before he heads out on his biggest headline UK tour to date in September/October. The new album which was released on June 3rd has been receiving high praise by all the major music papers. He is also been given a supporting slot to The Stone Roses, alongside PIL, and Johnny Marr @ Finsbury Park on June 8th.

It’s pretty packed tonight from early doors. As we enter the venue we hear the strains of some great rock n’ roll music. A male in his early 20’s, is into his set already, giving a nod to the 60’s, but with a modern vibe, not dissimilar to a younger version of Miles, strumming away on his guitar in a riotous fashion, with bags of confidence. He’s really working the crowd, who are already gathered in readiness at the front, they are really digging him. He’s so energised with an infectious charisma and style, and the music is great too, its fresh and vibrant. Remember his name its Alistair Sheerin, he’s from Middlesborough and I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot more from him. www.alistairsheerin.com

Hot on the heels of Sheerin is another young act, hailing from Manchester, the seductive model-esque Findlay, decked out in white crochet shorts and skimpy top completing the ensemble. She tells us all “It’s good to be home” after all she has defected to the South - no doubt in pursuit of her music career. It’s a thrilling set, short and sweet, big riffs, husky vocals, with a bluesy flavour, and the audience warm to her immediately. I’ve been hearing a lot about Findlay recently and from the few songs we did hear I’d agree she is certainly one to watch. www.findlaymusic.com

The stage is re arranged for Miles Kane, and now the crowd is swaying, and chanting for his arrival. To tease the gathering we have two tracks from Oasis and they begin to sing along. Before too long the man is before us, dressed sharply, all swagger and poise, but not in Gallagher fashion. He kick starts with ‘Your Gonna Get It’ a track from the new album. It’s a grand entrance, and he gets a joyous reception, with hands waving around, much singing, cameras and phones held aloft. The band are a tight knit group, its energetic, and frenzied guitar playing, comprising of soul, rock n’ roll and garage.

Miles heads full throttle through his set, which lasts over an hour. It’s great that we are now getting some fine, down and dirty guitar music. He’s certainly a showman, a handsome rogue, with a glint of scouse humour and a twinkle in those big brown eyes as he flirts with the crowd, grinning from ear to ear. It’s obviously he’s loving what he’s doing, it shines through. Those jungle drums unfold and its straight into crowd-pleaser ‘Kingcrawler’ and onto another favourite from his 2011 album ‘Rearrange’, with those 60’s feel good vibes. The crowd are by now completely won over; it’s a mosh pit down the front. The set is an even mix of older tracks from the debut album to the new brilliant album, and they all fuse together just perfect, with the occasional slower number sandwiched in-between. ‘My Fantasy’ gives Miles some respite from the high action as he serenades us. Then he bounces into ‘Quicksand’ which is a twinkling, poppy, upbeat number, followed by a bit of a Weller stomping ‘Inhaler’. It just gets better and the sweat is now dripping off Miles profusely, he’s a veritable workhorse on the guitar. And its back to a new track ‘Darkness In Our Hearts’, another storming track, everyone’s a winner, and they keep coming fast and furious. The next two songs are about taking control ‘Give Up’ and ‘Taking Over’ - with skuzzy, sonic guitars, lyrics about insecure relationships, all held together with passionate vocals. The final track is upon us’ Come Closer’ which is a dirty, bump & grinding, sexy guitar track, and has everyone dancing, lost in the heady moment. At that moment everyone does in fact want him to come closer; it’s a pure sex moment.

 

A sodden Miles comes back on his own with just an acoustic guitar, for an encore with the Lennon inspired ballad ‘Colour of the Trap’, some of the crowd chant “we are the mods, we are the mods” and finally we are reaching the crescendo, ending on a high note with the title song + new single taken from his new album ‘Don’t Forget Who You Are’. Miles certainly doesn’t forget where he has come from as he gives a heartfelt message to the biggest crowd this venue has ever witnessed “Manchester you’ve always been there from the very beginning, your amazing”- later he tweeted Again Manchester you have blown my mind what a fucking gig!! My ears are ringing in the hotel!”

He’s really coming into his own, and outshining the big boys. Paul Weller, and Liam Gallagher had better watch out, here is the contender to your throne. Kane proves tonight beyond all reasonable doubt he has a fire in his heart, who is going to raise the bar even higher, its just a matter of time. www.mileskane.com

Setlist:

Your Gonna Get It
Kingcrawler
Rearrange
Better Than That
First of My Kind
My Fantasy
Quicksand
Inhaler
Darkness In Our Hearts
Counting Down The Days
Taking Over
Give Up
Come Closer

Encore:

Colour of the Trap (Acoustic)
Don’t Forget Who You Are
 
Review/photos by Melanie Smith www.mudkiss.com
Main image by Laura Everett