As the duo of Alex Turner and Miles Kane brought their new record to a packed out Olympia, Getintothis’ Adam Lowerson was left impressed.
It can be hard to look at a gig objectively sometimes when events leading up to it have coloured your opinion of the artists in question, which was the case tonight for this writer. Despite being a huge fan of the Last Shadow Puppets‘ 2008 debut album The Age of the Understatement, the past few weeks of reading about sexism in interviews, funny speaking voices and those god awful tracksuit press shots left us with one thought regarding the duo of Alex Turner and Miles Kane. What a pair of bell ends these two have become. They were fighting an up hill battle from the start.
The rest of Liverpool were excited to see them though. Queues snaking down West Derby Road, a youthful crowd clambering to be near the front and a general buzz in the air. As the the case for pretty much everything Arctic Monkey Alex Turner does, the sell out audience were bang up for this, and played a big part in the entertainment throughout, singing along to every word. Even to the string sections. From the opening note of the night, a cover of The Beatles‘ I Want You (She’s So Heavy), the atmosphere in the room was absolutely electric.
With only a day passing between the release of the duo’s new album Everything You’ve Come To Expect and tonight’s show, there wasn’t much time at all to familiarise yourself with the new tunes, which admittedly did lead to a few flat points. The meandering fairground waltz of the title track never really made much of an impact, while Used to Be My Girl also failed to inspire. However, the new LP did provide some standout moments. Aviation showcased Turner and Kane‘s rich harmonies, the raucous Bad Habits gave Kane the chance to let loose, much to the delight of his hometown crowd, and Sweet Dreams, TN, probably the best track from Everything You’ve Come To Expect, let Turner take centre stage, showing himself as a bit of a hopeless romantic.
Unsurprisingly it was songs from the band’s debut that really shone, with more focus on the luscious, Owen Pallet arranged strings and Scott Walker-esque 60s pop-symphony sounds. Calm Like You saw Turner swagger around the stage with liquid hip swaying, taking a phone from the member of the crowd and recording himself in selfie-mode before declaring mid song, “shit, it’s not recorded“. The enormous In My Room brought the main set to a close with sweeping and stabbing bursts of strings and a menacing melody and chord sequence reminiscent of a Bond theme, before crowd favourite Standing Next To Me ended the night with Turner and Kane crowded round a single mic, arm in arm.
Their reputations, particularly Kane‘s, might have taken bit of a bashing in the run up to this tour and album, and rightly so in some cases, but putting that all to one side it’s hard to deny the fact the pair put on a good show. Turner‘s talent as a songwriter continues to blossom while Kane‘s energy on stage is a huge hit with their young audience. Those tracksuits were fucking awful though.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Tom Adam.