‘Strippers, poles, monkeys and tigers – and a few tunes’

Miles Kane
Miles Kane
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I feel like I made a bit of an
idiot of myself when interviewing Miles Kane.

Stuck for a question after an unexpectedly short reply to a previous query, I mumbled ‘so your second album, do you think it’s a step up from the first?’

“Nah mate,” he deadpanned back, “it’s a step down, it was rubbish, I couldn’t really be bothered with it.”

Ask a stupid question....

I’m on the phone to Kane to talk about his upcoming gigs round these parts, at the Arena in the Winter Gardens on Saturday March 15 and at 53 Degrees on Monday March 31.

The lad is only 27 yet he seems to have been around for ages.

He was in first band The Little Flames at the age of 18. They got signed. Then came The Rascals, also signed. Next a collaboration with his best mate, Arctic Monkeys’ frontman Alex Turner, under the name The Last Shadow Puppets, which spurned a number one album.

Then, since 2009, a solo career and two more albums, Colour of the Trap and Don’t Forget Who You Are, both of which earned rave reviews.

I point out that from the outside it looks like he’s had a smooth ascent to fame and fortune.

“It might look like that but it’s not the case,” he says. “It’s been a long road and there have been plenty of ups and downs. I’ve done the toilet tour circuit, playing in some real dives, and I’ve had to really graft.

“I’ve not always been a full-time musician either. I used to work at my mum’s butcher’s on Liverpool market, in the toy department in John Lewis and I was a glass collector in my uncle’s pub. Rock ‘n’ roll eh?

“So it’s not been that straightforward. But the nice thing is now I’ve got two solo albums under my belt, it feels very solid and it no longer feels like I’m a flash in the pan.”

Kane, who comes across as a really nice lad on the phone, says he can’t wait to get to Blackpool.

“I remember going as a kid, to the Illuminations a few times, but I haven’t been for ages and the weird thing is I’ve never played a gig there either, so it’s been a long time coming,” said Kane.

“I’ve heard the venue is superb and I’ve been told by other musicians that the people in Blackpool are really up for it so I’m looking forward to it being a bit lively.

“What can people expect? Strippers, poles, monkeys, tigers ... then a couple of tunes by us at the end!”

Kane’s friendship with Turner is well known. They are still the best of mates, despite the Arctic Monkeys’ man moving to America.

Kane went to New York last week to “hang out with my mate”. He is supporting Arctic Monkeys at their two Finsbury Park shows in May.

I ask if there are any plans for another Last Shadow Puppets album.

“If we do it will be tough to top the last one because it was so good,” he says.

“It was great to do, just lovely being with your best pal enjoying yourself.

“Why haven’t we done it again? Just because we’ve both been busy doing our own things really.”

Kane says he is thinking of putting another album out this year.

“I’m always writing,” he said. “I write a song on my acoustic – sometimes spend a full week on one line – then put the riffs in over the top.

“I’m happy with how it’s all going. It was quite a big thing to go solo but I just thought I’d give it a go and now it’s worked out, the plan is to keep it going for as long as I can.”

For tickets for Kane’s gigs in Blackpool and Preston head to www.blackpoollive.co.uk and www.53degrees.net