Miles Kane: at Leeds O2 Academy on 25 January

Going to a gig at the O2 Academy always has such an exciting feeling to it. It’s that perfect middle ground of it being a big show but there’s always more of an intimate feeling than you’d expect.

The walk up to the venue from the train station is a pilgrimage, stopping off at bars like Nation of Shopkeepers, Pixel or a good old fashioned Spoons. You feel the energy as you get to the top of the road to see the line of people waiting outside the venue.

After getting in, scoping out the merch stand and bar The Royston Club were about to kick the night off. The Royston Club are a 4 piece band who hail from Wrexham and who took to the stage like naturals, really owning the opportunity to open for a powerhouse like Miles Kane. The boys being comfortable on stage comes as no surprise as TRC have had plenty of practice, having just come off a near sold out headline European tour on the back of releasing their debut album ‘Shaking Hips and Crashing Cars’.

The band were fun, lively and easily set the tone for the evening. It appeared that quite a few people in the audience were already familiar with the band’s music – tracks like Mr Narcissistic and I’m a Liar really got the crowd moving. There is nothing better than a perfectly matched support artist when going to see a show and The Royston Club opening for Miles Kane really hit the nail on the head. If you are not familiar with The Royston Club I would describe their sound as similar to the likes of Viola Beach, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and The Vaccines, that guitar lead indie sound.

A special shout out to whoever designs their merch as the TRC cap that gave old BBC vibes was brilliant and such a fun way to incorporate a band branding into your everyday accessories.

A cider in my hand and the lights dimmed. It was time for the man himself, Mr Miles Kane.

What’s always fascinating about seeing an artist like Miles Kane is the presence of sub culture that exists around the music. The artist has created a signature look. With his skinhead (Ed’s Note: Number 1, Charlotte?) polo tops and tracksuits paired with boots, Kane is almost a perfect mix of mods and rockers with a hint of sport hooligan. His fans will also often be seen wearing football style tops at his shows, which the artist has incorporated into his merch and previously featured on music artwork.

Kicking off the first night of the tour in the lovely city of Leeds, the artist chose to open with the track One Man Ban the name of which hails from not only the title track of the 2023 album but also the name of the tour. The album One Man Band has already received a lot of praise, with RadioX nominating track The Wonder for Record of the Year.

This gig packed a lot of punches and was a really special show for a lot of die hard Miles Kane fans, as during the night the artist played both Silverscreen and Telepathy for the first time since 2019. I spoke to one fan after the show who said the first time they saw Miles Kane perform was over 12 years ago supporting Kasabian and how they were just as
captivated by his music then as they are today. He described him as “EFFORTLESS”

Other standout songs of the night were Killing the Joke (which provided a show highlight for me hearing the girl next to me scream to her boyfriend how she had won the bet and KNEW he would play the track). A truly beautiful song that translated so well from audio to live, Colour of the Trap, and Coup De Grace.

Even though Miles Kane is a man of few words, when on stage the audience interaction was brilliant. Huge hits like Inhaler and Rearrange had the whole crowd singing, dancing and even chanting the chorus to entice the singer to come back for an encore.

The One Man Band tour continues throughout the UK and if you can get a chance to see Miles Kane perform live I would definitely encourage it.

Photography by Patrycja Maziarz.

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