As The Rascal goes it alone

Miles Kane - as he might say himself in that crackling scouse vernacular of his - is buzzin’.

Last week he and his freshly minted band met a feverish response as they showcased brand new solo material on a whistlestop club tour; the new album, part mentored by one of his heroes Gruff Rhys, is in the bag and its scuzzy, salacious and sinewy lead single ‘Inhaler’ is getting Radio 1’s big players justifiably hot under the collar.

Today he has spent the day slipping in and out of a dizzying array of sharp modish cuts and classic trim threads. “Nothing I wouldn’t normally wear,” he says later with the nonchalance of someone who patently knows he needs no sartorial steering. He’s brimming with confidence and positively dripping mid-twenties virility as he talks up his debut’s libidinous strut.

“It’s all about me. In that I suppose it’s kinda sexy and moody,” he drawls. “I love Gainsbourg and I think there’s no fuckers out there that are doing it like a showman, where they’re not afraid to rip a solo or pull moves. Like, imagine Weller and Gainsbourg in one; that’s what I’ve got in my head. Lee Hazlewood is another good one; that thing of being a bit suave and like, sharp and smart, but playing rock ‘n’ roll. I don’t think there’s enough of it.”

When he’s in full flow like this you wouldn’t think he’d be the type to mislay his mojo. Indeed, peruse his press in 2009 and you might reasonably assume the lad had the world at his feet; Mercury nomination, gold-selling Number One album, a home from home on the London party circuit and supermodel girlfriend on his arm to boot. But Kane was low. The glamour and dramatic sweep of Last Shadow Puppets was fading into memory, the plush photo shoots and elaborate videos were falling away and as Alex Turner turned his attention to the new Arctic Monkeys album, Kane was plummeting all too rapidly to Earth.

“It was a massive comedown. I went on tour and I did some dates with The Rascals in Europe and it was good. But then it just sort of got dry.
And it was gutting cos I just thought that was it. It took me a while to get normal again really cos it had been so mad. And the first tunes I wrote when I decided to just do this trip on my own were shit - just cos I was in this mad place. It was daunting. It felt lonely. When I did the Puppets it was me best mate, Al. And with The Rascals I had the band around me, so there was aways someone there.”

And, having finally decided to go it alone, was he feeling the pressure? Was there a sense that he was regarded as someone that had totally lucked out? The guy whose first two bands had faltered and was now just riding Alex Turner’s coat tails to the top? “Well that’s what I think a lot of people think, you know? I’m not soft,” he replies, downcast for a moment. “If you’re in a band with someone who’s sold millions of albums and you haven’t, people will be like, ‘Oh, it’s just his mate’.” He needn’t worry. What Clash has heard of his solo effort thus far points to a record that more than stands up on its own. Unabashedly retro in tone but with a snappy Noughties sheen, it blends Kane’s rasping vocals and effortless melodic nous with vintage echo effects, nifty riffing and the kind of lairy, psychedelic overtones that Kasabian have made staple Main Stage fare in recent years. “I believe what I’ve done it is pop, you know what I mean? And I can hear it on Radio 1, but I’d love to just fuck all them pop things off and just ’ave it. Cos it’s fucking well better! And it’s real! I’d love that to happen.”

Words: Jim Brackpool
Photographer: Ben Cook @ Bedhead Studio
Art Direction: Paul Sethi
Stylist: Camilla Felici
Stylist Assistant: Elizabeth Black
Hair: Heath Grout from the TIGI International Creative Team using Rockaholic
Thanks TIGI Bedhead Studios


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