" I want to get over to where you are, darling, and shake it up," says Miles Kane in his famously charismatic brogue. The Liverpool singer-songwriter's first trip to Australia will not only be fittingly epic, but symbolic of his unique bond with best friend and Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner. Distinguished by his thick Scouse accent, love of '60s music and dapper Paul McCartney resemblance, the 25-year-old will support the Arctic Monkeys after charming Falls Festival attendees.
Although Kane first garnered attention through his formerbands, The Little Flames and The Rascals, it was his collaborative project with Turner - The Last Shadow Puppets - that led to a Mercury Prize nomination as well as awards from MOJO, NME and Q for their impressively explorative album, The Age Of The Understatement (2008). It may've taken Kane seven years to release his debut solo album, Colour Of The Trap, but it's made it all the more worthwhile.
"This whole journey that I've been on has been incredible, really," says Kane of playing in bands since the age of 18. "There's been lots of ups and lots of downs. Making this record has been the best thing in me [sic] life, really. I found me-self on it and I feel great, you know. Everything I've done to this day… without any of it, I wouldn't be here. I've learnt from everything I've done and those things were amazing. It's made me who I am now, so I respect and am thankful for all those sort of stages. It took a long time to get here," he laughs, "but we got there in the end."
"Probably about three years ago, there were a couple of old ideas knocking about," Kane relates."There were loads of demos done for it, shifting through and picking the right ones, and showing all those different sides of you really, 'cause I've got a lot of tastes in music whether it be Lennon and T. Rex and rock 'n' roll like that or Lee Hazlewood or French music like Serge Gainsbourg and I love surf music, so I wanted to create this album that had some rock elements but with a soundtrack feel to it as well."
Notable '50s/'60s guitarists Duane Eddy and Link Wray were inspirations for Kane during the creation of Colour Of The Trap. "Duane Eddy was the original (Kane sings out a riff)… that surf sort of twang. And Link Wray did the Batman theme and he did that style that you hear a lot in Tarantino films. When I heard that sort of guitar sound, I was like, 'Wow, I want my guitars to sound like that', but bigger. My guitar sound's a part of me as much as the vocal… where the riff sticks in your head."
Kane recorded the psychedelic pop gems,Kingcrawler and Take The Night From Me, with Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys. "He's a great guy - when I first started hanging out with him doing demos, he just has this great aura around him and he has this calming effect," Kane enthuses."He's had a big influence on me, really; he's just such a nice guy and very chilled, and always very positive - it's sort of rubbed off on me and I always thank him for that. The tunes that we recorded were great and some of me [sic] favourites."
Noel Gallagher made a surprise contribution to Kane's solo album through My Fantasy: "It was a beautiful afternoon," he recalls."[Noel] came down just to say hello and hang out and have a cup of coffee. The song's got a T.Rex/Marc Bolan vibe to it; he really digged that tune and I was going to go in and do these backing vocals and harmonies to give it a lift, and he ends up going in to do it. It was a beautiful moment."
Telepathy was a collaborative effort with Turner, who also contributed lyrics to a few tracks on Colour Of The Trap. "When songs happen off-the-cuff like say on this record, Inhaler, it was so natural and they're always the best things," Kane asserts."He jokingly said 'inhaler' in the chorus and that stuck and it becomes one of the best tracks on there. So when things like that happen, it's amazing.He's like a brother to me and I love him. We got each other's back, you know what I mean."
While Kane and Turner have discussed writing a follow-up toThe Age Of The Understatement, there are no plans as yet. "We always talk about it when we're having a beer or a few drinks, but who knows whether we'll bash out another album quick or what, man… we'll see." For now, Kane is having too much fun touring. "Playing gigs is the best thing in the world. Getting up on stage and getting sweaty, singing the songs and playing guitar - that's what drives me; that's what my drug is. There's no bigger high."
"I'm so pleased with it," says Kane of the way Colour Of The Trap represents his musical vision."I'm glad that it's been received well and that makes me happy 'cause I know I couldn't have put any more effort into this album because it's me on a CD if that makes sense," he laughs, "and I couldn't have sung or played the guitar any better than what I did on that album. Just to see the build of people starting to get to know these songs, it means the world."
Miles Kane joins the incredible Falls Festival line-up at Lorne on December 28 to January 1, and will support Arctic Monkeys at The Palace Theatre on Monday January 2 and Festival Hall on Tuesday January 3. His debut solo album, Colour Of The Trap , is out now through Sony.