Miles Kane, The Leadmill.
ONE thing is clear from the interviews Miles Kane has given recently: he doesn’t think he gets the recognition he deserves. After all, he’s best known as ‘the other one’ from The Last Shadow Puppets.
Tonight though, he has the chance to steal the limelight from bandmate Alex Turner on the Arctic Monkeys man’s home turf. Unfortunately, he starts out doing this in the wrong way.
Kane swaggers on stage, inviting the audience in his thick Wirral accent to “’ave it”. If he wants to be taken seriously as an artist, he ought to drop the Britpop anachronisms.
That said, the crowd responds accordingly, with the lads in mock-mod jackets crashing into each other as the band play heaving chord patterns that smoulder, but don’t quite ignite. The middle-aged men in polo shirts nod approvingly, old enough to remember this from the first and second times around.
Musically, Kane is better when he isn’t trying to play a rock anthem. The competent but dull riffs don’t intrude on the softer tracks, where the singer finds his voice in the subtleties of his songwriting. A brilliantly raucous cover of The Beatles’ Hey Bulldog shows he understands his craft.
It’s set-closer and recent single Inhaler that gets the wildest response tonight, with Kane exhilarated by the rapturous reaction it receives. But these theatrics won’t win Kane the critical acclaim he craves. He needs to decide whether it’s more important to be an enthusiastic showman or an artist. He isn’t both.
Jubby Taylor And The Absinthe Tears, Plug.
NA Music’s fine promotion of all things acoustic (-ish) and Sheffield (-ish) brought a strong line- up to the intimate and quaintly decorated Plug Neutral room.
The delightful Samantha Fozzard, accompanied by a trio of gents, gave a confident set as main support, full of intimate patter and warming the crowd well.
Jubby, meanwhile, is better known as the former front man of Harrisons, one-time popular contemporaries of the Arctic Monkeys who nearly made it to national fame themselves before splitting, just as their début album was released. Jubby moved onto the acclaimed but short lived Park Brigade before settling on his own brand of Americana and forming the wonderfully-named Absinthe Tears with fellow Harrisons member Mark White whose change from drums to keys has been a revelation.
Add the ridiculously talented Julian Jones on violin and they have the makings of a great sound. Double bass, accordion and percussion complete the mix and occasionally the fact it’s only their fourth gig as a sextet is evident, but that is overshadowed by some stirring songs.
With Jubby the main creative force his view of ‘living the blues to sing the blues’ is evident in some rousing tracks with less than cheery lyrics, such as the excellent Suicidal Angel and Half Cut On Broadway.
New song When I Turn Out, with Dylanesque intro and four-part harmonies, is a strong contender for set highlight until raucous and chaotic closer Hispanola steals the show.