Featured image and gallery: Freya Barber
In what looks to be a promising year for Manchester’s thriving music scene, February kicks off with Liverpool’s Miles Kane – headlining the renowned venue O2 Ritz. Miles released his fifth studio album One Man Band in August 2023 to critical acclaim, yet tonight Miles does not stand alone. Alongside him stands a band of effortlessly cool musicians whose presence is not to be unnoticed.
Before Miles takes to stage, are Welsh breakthrough band ‘The Royston Club’. The five-piece are set to support the remainder of the UK tour as well as following Miles and the band across his European dates later this year. From the looks of the audience, the band are the perfect fit to excite the audience, as the Ritz’s famous springy dance floor is now close to capacity with the balcony following suit.
Chants of ‘Royston, Royston, Royston’ echo between each song whenever the crowd find a rare moment of silence. When the first distorted chord of fan-favourite ‘I’m a Liar’ rings through the room fans eagerly clamber onto each other’s shoulders to get a better view of frontman Tom Faithful’s charismatic demeanour and expressive gestures.
Miles sets out to define the parameters for the upcoming hour – walking on stage to ‘Rock and Roll Star’. A potentially cliché choice, Miles establishes tough expectations to follow, however as the full power of the Manchester anthem kicks in the crowd welcomes this notion with enthusiasm. Kane kicks off with ‘Troubled Son’, the punchy first single from One Man Band. Despite playing most songs from this album, Miles doesn’t shy away from showcasing the breadth of his decade spanning discography, treating fans to an assortment of favourites.
Kane’s reputation as an indie-rock icon is solidified from the first note of ‘Inhaler’s’ infectious bassline. It is clear his riff-heavy debut is a song that has stood the test of time – despite being released nearly 15 years ago, the crowd still receive it with a newfound excitement gathering the most movement the room has seen all night. ‘Manchester, every time I play here you blow my mind” Miles confesses in between breaths.
Even after he unearths more of his expansive discography, it seems Miles isn’t ready to leave the stage just yet – nor do the crowd want him to. Showstopper ‘Come Closer’ ends seeing Kane appear to strut off stage, only to return seconds later to a football chant style rendition of the song’s melody. Proving the set is not quite over, the band return offering fans a satisfying finale – ‘Don’t Forget Who You Are’ with an extended outro. If tonight’s performance is anything to go by, Miles Kane undoubtably remains unrelenting in his commanding stage performance of nostalgic indie-rock anthems.