It’s no understatement to say that this was a big night for Preston. The downstairs room in 53 Degrees has been a little bit underused over the last two years for a multitude of reasons. That Miles Kane filled it (or came very close to, as a quick glance around the room will have told you) despite sold out nights as close by as Warrington and Blackpool is a tribute to how far the former Rascal and Shadow Puppet has come.
Telegram open the night with the hype of most of the world’s music press under their wings. Their accessible blend of psychedelic and kraut vibes is delivered with an air of confidence that comes from knowing exactly how good you are and that, as a support act, the pressure is probably off. The issue that they face is that large sections of the audience simply aren’t interested; waiting for their chance to chant along to Come Closer later in the evening. It only makes Telegram’s air of cool all the more profound that they are completely unfazed by those faces of indifference. They know their day is coming.
Miles Kane has himself in good company with the likes of Alex Turner and Liam Fray judging by the chants of “Miles” that precede his opening track of Inhaler. Lads in Pretty Green clobber climb atop shoulders and beer is hurled into the air as is tradition. From there, the set is full of peaks and troughs and Kane and his band rifle through a set that isn’t entirely familiar to those present. That said, as a frontman, Kane takes no cues from his contemporaries (aside from a happy birthday routine eerily similar to that seen by Turner at Glastonbury 2013) and is very much his own performer. He might be lacking the number of hits but they’ll come with time but he doesn’t lack style confidence or delivery.
That said, by the time the main-set closing duo of Rearrange and Come Closer come around, the crowd is starving for something to get involved with. The latter, in particular, creates something of a party atmosphere that is suitable for the last England gig of his tour. Colour of the Trap opens an encore as Kane returns to the stage on his own, armed with only his acoustic guitar. It’s a big moment in a set that hasn’t been filled with too many slow moments. It sets the crowd up perfectly for Don’t Forget Who You Are, which sends everyone home sweaty, wet and satisfied.
The tour, in general, has been a point proven for Miles Kane. Whispers that he might live in the shadows of his friends are unfounded and unfair, and he’s a worthy headline act in his own right, as his chart performance and stage presence pays tribute to. He’ll blow Kendal Calling away later in the year. A success for Miles Kane then, but an important night for Preston and 53 Degrees, who will have seen a lot of stay-away music fans return to the fold tonight. Let’s hope everyone can make that momentum count.
Did you go to the gig? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below
Luke is deputy editor at local music website The Ark Preston. This article first appeared here. Images by: lisa stirling