Kaleb McKane Brings A Full Moon To The Half Moon
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Kaleb McKane: Half Moon, Putney, London

12th February 2017

sara harding
Words: Sara Harding, Pictures: Andy Rawll

kaleb McKane

We at MetalTalk love this local venue and over the years the greats have rocked the stage here but it's also a good spot to catch all the up and coming talent and that's certainly something we did tonight.

A gaggle of us journos meet up for the customary pre-gig drinks and the evening gets off to a cracking start discussing our favourite collective nouns – a body of pathologists, an embarrassment of popadoms, a twat of Stings, an ego of rockstars and a bevvy of fans. And over a bevvy, we notice there are quite a few peeps from the music industry all here to check out guitar and vocal virtuoso, Kaleb.

His biggest fan is the legend that is Woody Woodmansey from David Bowie And The Spiders From Mars and when you hear this kid sing there really is a hint of Bowieness in his incredible performance. Ably assisted by Toshy on bass and Chris Nugent on drums, this trio create a wall of noise – and big props to the soundie tonight as the sonics are spot on – reverbs where there should be, dirty when needed and dry at just the right bits.

kaleb McKane

Kaleb's voice is sublime. Vibrato, falsetto then deep dirty bass tones kick in – he really is a modern day Bowie - I would kill for those vocal skills. Then the guitar kicks in replicating his incredible, complex vocals. His fingers are faster than the human eye and the scales he plays are simply off the scale. McKane's opening song. 'Way To Say Goodbye', is a Cantrell-esque grungy slice of blues rock. This dude can sure write a song and soon the audience are drawn to the front as his guitar siren lures us in and next on the set, 'The Alien', just goes to prove why Woody is such a fan as it nods to The Spiders From Mars era with a stunning modern twist which is goosebump inducing.

'Talk To God' is the new single. I have it on iTunes and I just can't stop listening to it, singing along at the top of my voice and of course my air guitar is out in full force. With a Floydesque intro – his three pedals are working on overload and his Fender Strat is being played to it's best – soaring and spellbinding solos that scream to us all. There are a lot of the local jammers here and you can see them lapping these solos up. And then there's the song itself. In the name of Saint Bon Jovi, download this single as it's simply epic, anthemic, dreamlike, rocking and so damn catchy.

Up next is 'Magazine' and like it's title, it's modern, clean and brilliantly executed. McKane slides easily through this hot new tune. Then it's time for 'Connection', another killer riff packed song proving how tight the backline are to keep up and embellish Kaleb's performance.

kaleb McKane

'Ilona' is a tune about an ex – his loss is our gain! Up next is a cover of the Chris Isaak/Corey Taylor song 'Wicked Game'. His take on the classic cover is ballsy and bloody brilliant. Not many can take this song on but Kaleb makes it his own and you can literally hear a pin drop.

'Star Of The Screen' pumps up the tempo and is an avant guarde slice of pure filth. The bass has hints of 'Higher Ground', funking it up and again shows Kaleb's songwriting prowess. 'Avanlanche' is one of the first songs McKane ever wrote and it's mature and again another song to stomp along to. 'Woman' highlights his guitar chops again. His solos are neither ambiguous or gratuitous – they suit each song.

kaleb McKane

Time for a spot of hero worshipping as McKane takes on 'Ziggy Stardust' and it's simply stunning. Us Bowie fans are nodding in approval at his 'Ziggy...' with a twist. 'Happy Song' is up next and this time it's drummer Chris that shines - his beats are augmentative and tight working closely with Toshy to create a solid backline.

Kaleb's final song on the setlist is the brilliantly titled 'Psychosexual Supernova' – a psychedelic room filler of a song. It's prog with balls! The band delivers and then leave - the crowd are all shouting out "ten more", not "one more". Keen not to disappoint Kaleb jumps on stage with just his guitar and gives us 'Guitar Wankers', a real treat, with his version of Hendrix's 'Hey Joe'. An epic song, with a killer solo to end an epic set. It was a juddering, flavoursome, flawless set and this dude and his trio deserve to be on a much bigger stage.

Tonight we witnessed a full moon at the Half Moon.

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