Miles Kane has kickstarted the UK’s long road to the full return of live music with an acoustic set at London’s Camden Market.
The singer defied the rain on Saturday (July 25), to kick off the ‘Camden Unlocked’ series – which marks the UK’s first major live series of music events since the coronavirus lockdown began earlier this year.
A step into the unknown, the tell-tale signs of a gig in the new normal were all present and correct before Kane’s arrival at 3PM.
The crowd of roughly 50 fans stood in socially distanced sections, which were clearly marked out on the floor, while they donned compulsory face masks.
Those who dared to lift their face coverings, even for the briefest of moments, were almost immediately reprimanded by a team of vigilant security guards.
It meant that by the time Kane arrived on stage, he had the unenviable task of providing some much needed normality to the strangest of settings.
To his credit, his half-hour set immediately transported the crowd back to a time when standing in the pouring rain and watching guitar music was a staple part of British summertime.
Flitting between his own solo material and that of The Last Shadow Puppets, Kane sparked singalongs from the very start, but there were still frequent reminders that this was far from normality.
The dystopian sight of 50 masked fans belting out the swaggering chorus of ‘Come Closer’ proved to be one of the day’s most jarring images.
Speaking to NME afterwards, Kane admitted: “I was quite apprehensive because I don’t usually class an acoustic set as a gig, it’s much harder to do than when you’ve got a band because there’s nowhere to hide.”
Acknowledging that the show was a “step into the unknown”, Kane said it was somewhat disarming to look out into a sea of masked faces for the first time.
— NME (@NME) July 25, 2020
“It felt I was in X-Men. It was a new thing and there’s something in the idea of doing differently, so we’ve just got to try and embrace it,” he said.
But he also admitted that until live music’s full return, this could be our best bet.
“We’re trucking on and we’re fighters. It’s definitely one of the weirdest gigs I’ve played, but an enjoyable weird.”
All considered, Kane’s set was the first step into a brave and uncertain new world for live music. If indoor venues are unlikely to return in their fullest form for some time, then small appearances like these might just be the desperate fix that all music fans are needing right now.
The Camden Unlocked series continues until August 6. Find out more info here.