Its always a pleasurable experience to see Miles live, however, this must be one of the greatest times yet. After hearing that he was to be playing at the neighbourhood festival in Manchester I was surprised to see a big name amongst so many smaller, local bands. Especially after his “Coup de Grace” tour that was so popular.
Upon arriving at the venue (the Manchester Academy) I remember being surprised at how small it was compared to the likes of previous venues Miles has performed at. However, in hindsight, this only added to atmosphere of the gig. And little did I know that this would be one of his greatest gigs I have ever seen.
When Miles took to the stage, he was clad in one of his iconic Fred Perry outfits. The lights were dimmed, and the room was hazy from the smoke machines. Then he suddenly opened with “Coup De Grace” the main track from is 2018 album “Coup De Grace”. The sudden and powerful start of the song followed up by Nathan Sudders’ rolling base made it the perfect introduction. The scene was set for the great night that was to come.
The aspects of the performance that made it so great was firstly, Miles’ expressive nature on the stage, and secondly, the lightshow. Songs such as “Rearrange” and “Inhaler” from his 2011 “Colour of the Trap” album allowed Miles to show his prowess on the guitar with the enthusiastic riffs as well as allowing the audience to get involved with continuation of the lyrics. The accompanying lighting was bright and fast to compliment the energetic nature of Miles on stage whilst performing such high-octane songs. Equally when it came to more calm, melodic songs such as “Killing the Joke” the lights were slow and constant, dry ice was rolling over the edge of the stage with miles sitting at the front of the stage to address the audience in his singing giving a relaxing and whole-hearted vibe to the performance and really emphasising the wholesome meaning behind the lyrics.
After Miles’ performance of “Killing the Joke” he and his accompanying band members left the stage and the lights dimmed giving the illusion that the set was over. Having already provided such an enthusiastic performance I would have been content, however, after uproar from the crowd Miles came back up for an encore finally finishing the set with his classic 2013 song “Don’t Forget Who You Are”. This was by far the best performance of the set, an unimaginable amount of energy from both Miles and the crowd that built up throughout the song and eventually climaxed with a fantastic Guitar solo from Miles. The cherry on the cake of the whole gig.
Overall the combined energy of Miles and the friendly and communal nature of the crowd made this one of the greatest gigs I have attended. I have no criticisms.
By Archie Crane
Image by Anthony Mooney (via @mileskane on Instagram)