As soon as The Bicycle Thieves ended their set you could feel the room swell with excitement and anticipation. As the fellow Liverpudlian’s cleared their gear away and stage preparations including setting up lights and drawing the curtains further back began, the audience started to shuffle their way towards the front; Miles Kane, the headline act, was minutes away.
Kasabian’s ‘Vlad The Impaler’ had kept the audience entertained whilst the stage was a beehive of activity until the music stopped and all the preparations had been made. All that remained on stage now were the hollow-bodied guitars and the drum kit with the bold letters ‘M’ and ‘K’ on the bass drum. With memories of ‘Vlad The Impaler’ still fresh in their minds and a sense of impatience the crowd began to chant ‘get loose, get loose!’, after a while this fizzled out and all eyes were focused on the stage again, waiting for the man to emerge.
Three figures emerge from the ever-mysterious backstage, before the audience could finish asking themselves “Where is Miles?”, he walks onto the stage with both fists pumping in the air, and a rapturous welcome is promptly offered by the crowd. With his guitar slung across his body and asthma inhaler resting on an amplifier, Miles is ready to go. As soon as the first song kicks in it is made clear that Miles is a seasoned vet. Hard to believe considering his age but it’s a fact that is evidently true from the way he kicked his legs out in time to the thunderous clashes of the drums to the swoops and swivels he executed during his solos; he undoubtedly lived up to his billing as the headline act.
About four songs into the act the audience were clearly asking themselves, “when is he going to play inhaler?” Miles points out that he lost his voice before the show so he wasn’t able to ‘perform’ the songs properly, highly doubtful that anyone would have noticed otherwise; it did make it clear however that the drink he consumed from a flask inbetween songs was probably some type of throat medication.
Immediately after making the audience aware of his ailment, Miles announces the next song, ‘Inhaler’. Madness! Being the only track to have been heard by a majority of the crowd prior to the gig, it’s amongst the last songs anyone would want to sing with a sore throat. Miles does anyway, albeit replacing some of the howls with alternatively sung intonations. Miles and his band seemed to open up more and their interactions with one another were magnified, it’s safe to say the crowd loved every minute of the song. It also has to be added that the live version of the song sounded better than the recording, it was looser, louder and seemed to have more to offer.
Before playing the last song Miles thanks the audience again, gives a shout out to his friends and his father who could be seen grinning with pride. At this point there is pure energy emanating from the stage as he sings ‘temperatures rising’ and ‘fevers high’. The set is brought to a triumphant end as the last chords are struck and Miles holds his still resonating guitar above his head. The rest of the band make their way off stage and Miles sets his guitar, which is now emitting pure feedback, down.
For a set comprised of unfamiliar songs this was quite a result for the young Miles Kane, the songs went down well with the audience; as shown by their bobbing heads and stomping feet. As song familiarity grows, perhaps Miles’s future audiences will have more to enjoy at his shows; only time will tell. With similar performances like that to launch his solo career, the future looks bright for the Wirral native.
Besides the legendary album covers from yesteryear hanging on the walls of Mojo, everything else around you reminds you that this is the year 2010, flat screen TV’s and audience members tapping and sliding away on iPhones and so on. However, the quite tasteful music from the PA’s ceases and Eva Petersen walks on the stage (which she will share with ex-bandmates and Miles Kane) drink in hand and beautifully dressed in attire from the sixties; forget the year 2010 and prepare to go back to a simpler time.
With a nod to the two guitarists behind her, the set begins with ‘Beautiful Thing’, and between the opening chords and Eva’s first few lines a feeling of warmth spreads across the room, her voice flows through every iota of space and although remaining almost static throughout the song, she manages to capture the audience’s attention. In retrospect, her stoic performance quite possibly made this feat easier, standing still with eyes closed delivering heavy lines like ‘we got a thing we can’t explain, you’ll never love like this again. It’s like a losing game’ tends to speed up the process.
Upon accepting the applause from the audience at the song’s end, acknowledging their appreciation and gingerly taking a sip from her glass, Eva introduces the second song. By this time, she is the only person standing on that ruby-lit stage; figuratively speaking of course. The guitarists played their parts and laid a sound and solid foundation on which she built the marvellous ‘Emerald Green Eyes’. Whether premeditated or purely coincidental, much of this song was delivered with what can only be described as ‘Mona Lisa eyes’, and together with the words ‘her eyes read your soul, they’re as sharp as a cold morning light’, it’s all beautifully chilling.
The whole set was brilliant, there was nothing quite like it that came before or after. Eva successfully and seemingly unintentionally reminded the audience of the glories of the past, that being said, nothing about the set felt historically trapped or anachronistic. Imagine early Sandie Shaw or Dusty Springfield performances, remove the grainy black and white pictures in your head and see them in glorious Technicolor, actually, make that high-definition and you’ll begin to have an idea of Eva Petersen. With her naturally enchanting stage presence, 21st century lyrics and elements of legendary songstresses it’s easy to see why she made a lasting impression as she exited the stage after closing with ‘Don’t Be Shy’ and thanked the Liverpudlian audience again for their support.