Miles Kane @ The Empire, Middlesbrough 13/10/11

The lights go out on a busting at the seams Empire and what can only be described as a psychedelic version of the Dr Who theme rings out. The crowd go wild and out walks Miles Kane and his band. Last time I had heard a cheer this loud was in the same venue just over six years ago for Miles’s ‘Last Shadow Puppet’s’ partner in crime’s gang. You could almost forgive me for thinking that they had walked on instead.

Let’s set the record straight. I hadn’t heard one Miles Kane song. I think I was only person in the crowd who needed winning over. On he comes and we’re straight into it ‘Better Left Invisible’, ‘Counting Down the Days’ and ‘Rearrange’ are all sung back by the crowd like timeless classics and already, I must admit, I was won over. Though I still had a little niggle in the back of my mind that he couldn’t keep this up. This fast pace continues through ‘King Crawler’ and ‘Telepathy.’ We eventually get the chance to draw breath with the sweet lullaby of ‘Take The Night From Me’ and again I reassess things…………..I was still won over.

Not only had it taken me by surprise but you could clearly see Miles was overwhelmed by the support from the crowd. Yet, this did not stop him from milking his adoring fans. Then just in a flash we were back into it again ‘ba ba ba baa-ing’ along to ‘Quicksand’, even finding time for a glorious cover of the Jacques Dutronc classic ‘Le Responsable’ (pas en francais mais). Zooming through the album title track to a new, soon to be released, never played before, sing along classic; ‘Womans Touch’.

Then for something totally unexpected: a Beatles classic. Well in my eyes/ears anyway. The first chord of the intro is played and I’m fully convinced by Mr Kane. ‘Hey Bulldog’ is blazing out and I’m going wild with the majority of the crowd unsure of what he is singing but I don’t care. He’s clearly enjoying it and so am I. Then, again, BANG!! We’re straight into the foot stomping, call to arms, of ‘Come Closer’ to finish it off. Clearly seeing the crowd holding onto every word we then get an extended chant of ‘woooahs’ and ‘arghs’ and we duly oblige. Well, it would be rude not to. He takes his bow, clearly amazed by the response, and leaves the stage with the crowd baying for more.

He accepts the challenge to finish it off and serves the knockout blow of ‘Inhaler’. The crowd respond and still get back up for more but blow served, me won over, bow taken and crowd acknowledged, it’s over. It makes me think of memories of six years ago. Maybe not the same in the sense of what the gig meant at the time but the same in the feeling afterwards of just being in attendance at an absolutely brilliant gig.

………..and yes I did go out and buy the album the next day.

A big thank-you to Ben Myers for this, his first review at The Northern Line. Hopefully many more will follow. Also thanks to Ash at the Empire for his usual help. Lots coming up at The Empire (Check out the link below) but special mention of CAST who are at this great venue on Thursday the 15th of December. A great start to the Christmas festivities.




By peter on October 21, 2011

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