“It is phenomenal, do you know what I mean?” questions MILES KANE when quizzed if he is reassured by the response of latest record Coup de Grace. After a second stint in The Last Shadow Puppets, Kane is back as a solo artist and ready to once again tear apart venues around the country.
Discussing Coup de Grace, he reveals “there’s always a sort of anxiety that starts kicking in when the release date is announced,” and you really can’t blame him for thinking this. Since the release of Don’t Forget Who You Are (2013), half a decade has elapsed, but the reaction has been incredible – in Kane‘s own words, he says proudly “it has been amazing to see the tunes go down well. There’s a love that I feel from the boys and girls.”
Although the ‘comeback’ gigs across summer sold out almost instantly, the “anxiety that starts kicking in” had good reason to. Upping sticks from Merseyside and heading across the pond to LA is arguably a no brainer, but Kane found himself unable to finish half-written songs. Opening up, he explains “maybe I should have took a step back for a minute and had a breather. There was stuff that was going on in my life at that time and I couldn’t really focus on music or anything really.” Taking a step back from forcing a third solo record came in the form of rejoining Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner for a second album under the alias The Last Shadow Puppets, and it was arguably this move that inspired a new era of Miles Kane.
“We wrote a song called Bad Habits on the Puppets album and maybe that was the start of me getting into that sort of thing,” he ponders. The velocity and aggression in Bad Habits has continued into Kane‘s latest solo offering with much support from those around him – “when we [The Last Shadow Puppets] were on tour, we were covering The Fall’s Totally Wired and you take that persona and the wildness of vocals where it is quite loose and quite scatty. Everyone was like ‘it is mega when you do that, you should do an album like that.”
Talking of Silverscreen and the general punk styling that Kane found himself immersed in; that was one of the first tracks that Kane and Jamie T worked on together. “When me and J started writing he picked out a few tunes [including Silverscreen] from the demos. He [Jamie T] was like ‘I love these tunes – you should do a record like that!” Combining the kind words from Jamie T with the success of covering The Fall with The Last Shadow Puppets, Kane was finally ready to unleash his third album on the world. “When me and him started to work together, that’s when it started coming together. The songs were flowing and the enjoyment was there again and we were just having a good old time writing and making demos in the house.”
The demos were then taken to producer John Congleton with a rediscovered confidence and suddenly Miles Kane was back at his brilliant best. “I was like I know these songs are good, I just need to make them sound good. I just needed some good players on board to make it sound as cool as we can. That’s what I said to John Congleton.” With the realisation that he hadn’t lost the ability to create an infectiously catchy anthem, Kane‘s confidence turns to excitement as he teases what to expect from his shows this time around. “The setlist is gonna take your head off. It is going to be a heart attack job. I want it to be the most explosive gig ever. That’s my intention.” Having caught Kane touring Don’t Forget Who You Are and Colour of the Trap, there is little doubt that this will be the case, and when asked how he will keep the excitement of, quote unquote, taking people’s heads off, he reveals “I like to change it up. One night is more of a punk show, one is more slow where I could maybe drop the acoustic in there. I could freak out and go a bit more psychedelic, it is just what I feel that night. That’s what I was doing for the last few gigs and I think it is important to change it up each night.”
Unlike the era when Kane only had two albums and a couple of EPs to choose from, he is well aware “we’ve got a good catalogue of tunes to play now. It is hard to pick an hour and fifteen out of all the tunes. I love them all,” but if you are worrying about being fed an abundance of Coup de Grace, be assured that “we’re not going to overwhelm people. If you are a fan, you do want to hear tunes you’re comfortable with and know. It is nice to hear the ones you want to hear.”
On this note, the topic of Glasvegas’ self-titled debut anniversary tour is brought up and Miles is quick to share his appreciation of the record – “I like them, I think they’re a good band,” he says. “I love that Daddy’s Gone tune. I think we’re going to do a cover of that in Glasgow!” A mix of all three records, plus the addition of a Glasvegas cover is a heavenly combination, especially because, as Kane explains “when we rehearse a lot of the old ones from Colour of the Trap now it is like they’ve grown and developed. The old tunes have blended pretty well, to be honest.“
After all the talk of curating setlists, there is a confident closing statement from Miles – “I’m looking forward to this tour the most really because since it has been out we haven’t really done much in the UK. I’m looking forward to seeing the reaction to the tunes.” It is heartwarming to see a musician who was once such a vibrant cornerstone on the indie landscape start to enjoy what he is doing again. Five years is a long time – for example Leicester City have been promoted, narrowly avoided relegation and actually won the Premier League in between the Don’t Forget Who You Are – and although Kane is well aware of this, he is reclaiming the reigns and getting back on the horse.