Soundtrack Of My Life: Miles Kane
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FeaturesMusic Interviews

Soundtrack Of My Life: Miles Kane

Scouse indie king and Last Shadow Puppet

By Mark Beaumont

Miles Kane
Miles Kane CREDIT: Lauren Luxenberg

The first song I remember hearing

The Four Tops – ‘I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)’/The Supremes – ’Baby Love’

“It’s from living at my nan’s with my mum or my mum and my aunties having family do’s. Motown was such a prominent soundtrack to my life growing up. There are a million songs of those that I could pick. I always imagine after dinner everyone dancing around the living room table, and it’d just be this constant soundtrack, whether it’d be just me and my mum in the house, we could have a dance or the family come over, eating dinner, after dinner, there was always that kind of music playing whether it was in the background or in the forefront. It was a natural thing, playing music is a thing in our family. The Four Tops and Diana Ross were probably top of the list.”

The first song I fell in love with

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Space – ‘Female Of The Species’/The Beatles – ’This Boy’

“I’d have been about 10 when ‘Female Of The Species’ came out. You’re starting to discover Oasis and that sort of music, and hearing the grandiose-ness of that tune, it still sounds amazing, and lyrically it felt different than anything else I’d heard at that time. It’s got a little bit of that James Bond thing, which even at an early age that always caught my attention and has stuck with me. Even then, at 10, hearing that tune, I thought it sounds big and quite grand, and I think that’s been in me since a young kid.

On the contrary of that, the Beatles one, the lyrics got me. When I watched it on A Hard Day’s Night and they do it, it’s the emotion of it that I felt I could connect with. It’s quite a sad song, in a beautiful way, and it’s probably one of the first songs I tried to teach myself on guitar. It’s one of those songs that gives me a lot of emotion.”

The first album I bought

Oasis – ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’

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“It’s either ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’ or 2 Unlimited ‘No Limits’. It’s between them two. [‘Morning Glory’ would] probably be the first album that I was aware of, the first album I anticipated coming out. Everybody of my age group is probably the same. I think I bought it in Woolworths. I absolutely loved it, and that following Christmas I got the video of ‘…There And Then’ as well, that live gig, so to see it all as well, that was something I never had off. You liked that attitude as well – our little gang growing up would take from that for sure.”

My first gig

Super Furry Animals, Royal Court, Liverpool

“That’s the first that I can fully remember. It was on the ‘Rings Around The World’ tour and that was the first gig that properly changed my life. That was the start of my obsession with going to gigs, I was probably about fourteen or fifteen around that age and it was the first time I’d witnessed a moshpit as well and being in the crowd and getting pushed about and letting go, I’d never experienced that. They’ve got this tune on that album called ‘Receptacle For The Respectable’ and a bit of it kicks right off and gets really heavy.

“I remember it because my cousins, our James and Ian [Skelly] from The Coral, were massive Super Furries fans and they got me into them. I was obsessed with them, the variation of songs they had and this mystical world they created, and all the imagery as well, the hand-drawn cartoons and stuff like that. It was such a little world that attracted me. It was one of those gigs where you go home wringing wet, sweating. I bought a fake t-shirt outside that just said ‘Furries’ on it and my mum opened the door and my eyes were glazed and she said ‘from that day on I lost you’. That was it then.”

The song that reminds me of home

The Real Thing – ‘You To Me Are Everything’

“It’s a classic in any Scouse household. The image I get is of aunties and family dancing to that tune. It’s such a great song, I absolutely love it. I’ve been walking onstage to it at these recent gigs. It’s something that really reminds me of Liverpool and family and it gives me this warming feeling.”

The song I wish I’d written

John Lennon – ‘Gimme Some Truth’

“Lennon was always on this search, wasn’t he, whether it was politics, love or life, for this truth thing. That was one of those songs where it’s got a poignant point – you can probably relate it to other things that aren’t political – but it makes you feel angry but in a good way, or it makes me feel confident or makes me be like ‘fuck you’. It’s one of those songs that always has that effect on me.

“The real icing on the cake for me is when you watch the vocal delivery on it on the making of the ‘Imagine’ album. It’s at the top of his register, which is something that I’ve done in the past, that thing when your voice is on breaking point and it’s like a half-cry. It’s a fucker for your voice but when you get it down on record there’s something about that combination with great lyrics that really hits home to me. It’s so weird and a bit gnarly, isn’t it?”

The song I do at karaoke

Frank Sinatra – ‘That’s Life’

“I’d probably do that. My karaoke days are long gone but if I was forced into it, I’d go for ‘That’s Life’. I love that tune, the lyrics are so fantastic – sometimes if I’m feeling down I stick that on and it puts me in a good mood. Everyone knows it so it’s a surefire winner in that scenario. I act out a bit of rat pack in my mind on a daily basis so I’ve no qualms with doing that. I could easily fall into a bit of a Buble swing-when-you’re-winning situation.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Sam Fender – ‘Seventeen Going Under’

“With all his new singles that he put out recently, I’ve been quite drawn in by it. I’m really into his lyrics – the three songs he’s released off this new record, for a young kid he’s got really great lyrics. It’s upbeat and it’s got that energy of what a young lad has. I do believe him. I rate him, I think it’s really great. Songwriting-wise it’s probably the best that’s out there now in that indie laddy thing. He’s writing it from a very good place. I’m glad to see that he’s doing well and the kids are relating.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Neil Young – ‘Motion Pictures’

“I had to give Neil Young’s ‘On The Beach’ a rest. I got to the point where I had it on repeat so much and you know when you overkill a record? Maybe now I’d be ready to go back to it but that would be one that’s had a little breather and been put on the shelf for a minute. I learnt ‘Motion Pictures’ on guitar and I was just singing it over and over and I had it on repeat and every time I was on my own I’d play it over and over. I had to park that. It’s a great album, I just hammered it to death.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Billy Fury – ‘Wondrous Place’

“I love Billy Fury and I love that song, I always have. It’s in the same sort of world as ‘Female Of The Species’ and it’s that Scouse James Bond thing I really love. Lyrically it’s cool, the sound of it, the reverb, it really hit home when I first heard that at an early age. On the first Puppets record, we did a cover of that. I’d go out to that, man, it’s so dramatic.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Pete Rodriguez – ‘Oh That’s Nice’

“Lately I’ve been loving Cuban and Latin music and he’s an artist that a friend had put me on to. That tune is so great, it’s a bit Northern Soul-y as well. There’s something about those cool Cuban tunes, you’ve got these exotic chords and they’ve got a loud handclap and it’s all as if there’s a party going on. There’s something that’s really attracting me to that style of music at the moment. I’m a half-decent dancer, couple of vodkas in me and I’ll be shimmying away.”

Miles Kane’s new album ‘Change The Show’ is out January 21 on BMG Records

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