Alex Turner and Miles Kane
The Last Shadow Puppets
Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center
Thursday, October 30
So Britpop has a new asshole. That would be Miles Kane, guitarist/vocalist of the Last Shadow Puppets, a band who for some reason has failed to catch the freak-out tidal wave the Puppets’ other main man, Alex Turner, enjoyed with the Arctic Monkeys few years ago. But Kane has the makings of a young Noel Gallagher (possibly the last, great Brit twat left) and he sauntered out last night looking very much like the Oasis star, down to the circular sunglasses.
Kane’s big moment came about halfway through their set. The band had been enjoying the accompaniment of an 18-piece orchestra: 15 strings and three brass instruments. After giving the suits a break for a few tunes, they fired them back up for the “Separate and Ever Deadly,” one of their faster approaches to ‘60s mod-orchestra pop and contains a brief pause. Halfway through, during a pause, the other 22 people onstage started up before Miles could get the vocals delivered, throwing him off cue. So he stopped everyone, his four other LSP players plus the orchestra, and had them start up again. His bandmates were all laughing about it—the suits weren’t.
But here’s why it’s all okay: Kane is a rather sick guitarist. He’s the one responsible for making this band’s most recent record The Age Of Understatement sound better than the last Arctic Monkeys release. The B-side “Gas Dance” demonstrated Kane’s knack for slow, trippy surfer undertones. The crescendo bliss of “The Age of Understatement” is Kane’s handiwork, too.
At the moment, his onstage arrogance comes off as funny, because in the grand scheme of things, no one in the U.S. knows who he is. But with the attitude, the posturing, the talent—we just might in the next few years. During a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Memories,” Kane put down his guitar, and just sung to us. His eyes were focused intently on the crowd he asked, “Won’t you let me see your naked body?” His face was deadly serious, and had I been a woman and met eyes with him, I would have totally thought, What an asshole? By the end, he was hunching over, squeezing his eyelids tight, convincingly taking on Cohen. Seems that having a character like Kane by his side is what Turner has needed all along—one big, giant, grade-A jerk. Make no mistake: that’s a very good thing.—Michael D. Ayers