- 13 Nov 23
Liverpudlian indie maestro, Miles Kane, grabs a pint of plain and tells Will Russell about meeting The Divine Ponytail himself, Roberto Baggio, drinking sessions inspired by The Deerhunter, and his boss new album One Man Band.
Sandwiched between a quartet of support slots with his old mates Arctic Monkeys at the SSE Arena Belfast and the 3 Arena Dublin, Miles Kane has a day off. He settles down with a pint of stout, finally able to unwind and eager for chat.
Kane is flying form, and why wouldn’t he be? His boss new album, One Man Band, is going down a bomb; he recently shared a glass of vino with his childhood hero Roberto Baggio; and furthermore, he has just played some of the best gigs in his two-decade career. AND let’s face it, having a chinwag with Hot Press trumps the lot!
So, let’s talk - how have the gigs in Belfast and Dublin been?
”Probably some of the best gigs of me life,” Miles asserts. “Being the support act and having the crowd so up for it, it’s mind-blowing. I feel very honoured.”
Indeed, checking out videos on Miles’ socials, the Belfast and Dublin audiences have been crammed in early and thirsting for his set. The dashing singer, meanwhile, has been sporting a fine array of vintage Irish shirts.
”I’ve got an ‘80s one for tomorrow night as well,” he laughs. “I love the old vintage shirts and it just felt right for this. So I found a shop that had them all and bought one for each night.”
Seriously though, the crowds are roaring out his songs, even tracks such as ‘Troubled Son’, ‘The Wonder’ and the ‘One Man Band’ from the new album.
”Amazing,” he agrees. “It’s funny, because I’ve only done a few gigs since the album came out, but me set feels almost complete now. The new ones are going down as well as me big songs – ‘Don’t Forget Who You Are’ and ‘Come Closer’, they are at that level. It just feels fucking great. I feel that finally I’m getting there. it only took 20 years, but tortoise and the hare mate, you know what I mean?”
One Man Band was recorded back in his old Liverpool stomping ground, with Miles’ not so ordinary cousins - James and Ian Skelly, aka The Coral.
”I know mate, Scouse mafia isn’t it,” Miles laughs. “It was just us, we kept it tight, and then James’ little brother, me cousin Alfie, released it on his label Modern Sky. So, it was completely family and it was amazing. I just wrote a load of tunes for it, me and James were going through each of them all of last year. We tweaked the lyrics and chose the best 11 . There was a clear vision and I like that, I’m a bit of a prepper.
”I felt comfortable with everything, even the way the album cover looks, it’s bit candid, it’s not too posey. I like the glam thing, I wear make-up and the suits, but I wanted this to be back to super basics, no big hoo-ha. Just me, me cousin Ian on drums, Charlie from Blossoms on bass, Paul Duffy from The Coral and me cousin James. And you should hear it live. I just got sent our set from last night, our soundman recorded it -it’s fucking nasty, it’s like Status Quo, it steams like a punk Oasis, it’s insane!”
Miles’ song ‘Baggio’ off One Man Band is about the iconic Italian footballer. I reviewed the album in these pages and reiterate my recommendation of James Slater’s short film Searching For Baggio. It documents a nervous, excited and utterly charming Kane visiting Il Divin Codino himself, at his home in Vicenza. It’s touching stuff.
“It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done mate,” Miles exclaims. “I still fucking can’t believe it to be honest. Obviously, we made the tune, and then the week before the album was released, I sent it to our James. He goes, ‘This is so you’, because he remembers me as a kid. When we were eight years old, we’d be in the park everyday and I’d turn up in the full Italian kit.
”He’s like, ‘You’ve always being a kinky bastard!’ Anyway, Baggio ended up hearing the song and invited me to his house in Milan. He was the nicest fella. We met him, his Mrs and his daughter. He got a bottle of rosè out and we were buzzing after half-an-hour.”
It would be delinquent of me not to take this opportunity to bring up Giant’s Stadium, and Ireland beating Baggio’s Italy team during World Cup ’94.
”Yeah,” Miles laughs. “Ray Houghton was a boss goal that one, weren’t it?”
We list names - John Aldridge, Paul McGrath, Roy Keane - back when we were great, but let’s not dwell on the golden past. Rather, let’s talk about Miles’ blinding music video for lead single ‘Troubled Son’. Another James Slater effort, it was shot at Kane’s local, the Young Prince boozer in Bethnal Green, and features actor James Buckley and a jolly bunch of daytime drinkers.
“That's my local boozer,” he explains. “It sounds like an excuse to get pissed up, but the inspiration for it was the film The Deerhunter. Specifically, that scene where DeNiro and all the rest of them are pissed up in the boozer and they started singing ‘Can’t Take My Eyes off You’. It just captures a group of mates having a good time. It was one of those things where you decide to do it and you’re like, “Yeah, we’ll get them all down”. Then it’s like, ‘Yeah, I’ve only got about five or six mates!’ Ah, it was fucking boss!”
Having a carat cut diamond Liverpudlian in the house, and a member of the supergroup and covers band The Jaded Hearts Club, we’ve got to talk Get Back, the 2021 documentary series directed by Peter Jackson covering the making of The Beatles’ 1970 album Let It Be.
”Ah mate, I just buzzed off it,” enthuses Kane. “It was a like a wet dream for me. I watched it once all the way through, I have to watch it again. I like the second and third parts, that first part is a bit cold, isn’t it? But yeah, just grafters doing the work and it’s real. It’s right up my alley that.”
Continuing his rich vein of form, the day before we talked, Miles released the marvellous single ‘Time Of Your Life’, and in old parlance, accompanying two b-sides: ‘See You On The Water’ and a superb cover of Scott Walker’s ‘My Death’.
”’Time Of Your Life’ is a boss little tune and we just wanted to stick it out really, because it’s a banger,” he says. “We recorded it when we were making the album. It’s got that ‘Baggio’ vibe, they’re both really similar, so it was one or the other for the album.”
It’s time to vamoose and let the man enjoy his porter. But hung if I don’t, I wonder if there’s any hint of another album from The Last Shadow Puppets, the supergroup that includes Miles and Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner?
”Probably one day, definitely not now. When the time is right mate, I’m sure we will.”
Sound. Let’s not get too greedy. For now, let’s drink in One Man Band, a superb album from an artist at the top of his game. He tours the UK in January, and while we are saying our goodbyes, Miles tells me that he’s coming back to Ireland in May to do some dates, which will be announced soon. Catch him while he’s hot!
One Man Band is out now.