Miles Kane @ o2 Institute, 27 November 2018

With lashings of eye makeup, punchy pop songs and a cover of Donna Summer, it’s fair to say Miles Kane is taking a different musical route in 2018.  

It’s been more than seven years since – as a fresh faced teenager – I first saw the singer-songwriter bring his debut record Colour of the Trap to Birmingham.

And the Merseyside rocker was back for the first time in a sometime as he returned to the very same O2 Institute venue this week. 

Since projects with the Little Flames and The Rascals plummeted at the beginning of his career, the 32-year-old has made quite a name for himself as a solo artist – although credit must go to his Last Shadow Puppets partner and Arctic Monkey Alex Turner who has certainly helped him along the way. 

The evening saw the fantastically-named Manchester quintet Cabbage open with a noisy set. They crashed through political anthems Terrorist Synthesiser and Necroflat in the Palace with ease – a chaotic but welcome introduction to the evening’s affairs.

While the stomping sounds of retro rock ‘n’ roll remain a prominent part of Kane’s live shows, the Wirral Riddler has moved towards a more glam-rock inspired sound for third record Coup De Grace.  

Donning the skinniest of pink-tipped suits and the smartest of black leather boots, he swaggered on stage and dived straight in with new tune Too Little Too Late and early single Inhaler.

“Yes Birmingham, it’s Tuesday night. Come on!” hailed the Birkenhead-born rocker, as he romped through high-tempo Give Up from second release Don’t Forget Who You Are. 

Silverscreen, Wrong Side of Life and Cry On My Guitar hit the spot before he dropped the guitar to chant through haunting new release LA Four Five (309) – a track inspired by a recurring nightmare he’d experienced.  Thousands belted out the words to slow number Colour of the Trap until the elated crowd went into frenzy for Rearrange.

The rocker has always been open to a cover or two, performing renditions of French artist Jacque Dutronc’s Le Responsable and The Fall’s Totally Wired with partner Alex Turner over the years.

And this time it was Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff to get the Kane treatment, obviously… The cover went down a treat as a fan on the balcony’s dancing took inspiration from cult classic The Fully Monty, much to the delight of Miles and co. The highlight of the night by some distance. 

As the night came to a close, he kept his foot firmly on the accelerator to close with title tracks Coup De Grace and Don’t Forget Who You Are, before returning to the stage to smash through Shavambacu and fan favourite Come Closer.

While his song-writing abilities can often be questionable at times – particularly on recent recordings – there is no doubt that he can put on a show.  His music is catchy, loud and boisterous and with new music already out after an album in August, there is no stopping Miles Kane anytime soon. 

Reviewer: Tom Oakley

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