How We Met: Leighton Baines & Miles Kane
‘Fame can make you big-headed and add too much swagger’
Miles Kane, 26
The co-frontman of Mercury-nominated band the Last Shadow Puppets, along with Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner, Kane (right in picture) first broke into the charts in 2008 fronting the Rascals. He released his debut solo album, 'Colour of the Trap', in 2011. He lives in London.
We met at a wrestling event in the Liverpool Echo Arena in 2008. I went with some of the lads, he went with his little boy – well, that's his excuse; I now know he enjoyed it anyway. It was when I was still living in Liverpool and in the Rascals. I'd heard his name mentioned as my mates are really into football, so I was aware of him, even though he plays for Everton and I support Liverpool. He came up and told me he liked my music, and I suggested we go for coffee and we swapped numbers.
Round that time I lived above this café called The Quarter, writing my first solo record. So once he'd finished training at midday, we'd hang out over coffee in the café and it became our regular haunt.
He's quite shy, a real quiet lad. But as I got to know him it became clear he was a massive music fan. We started talking music, listening and swapping tracks. He put me on to [Australian rock band] Tame Impala before they hit it off. And we're both massive Lennon-heads.
He's been to a few of our gigs and even gone on tour with us, and we've become best friends. Last year he came to Glastonbury with us and stayed on the bus and we had a lot of fun. I didn't lead him astray as at the time I was being sensible. Lately, I've been sending him a few new tunes of mine as soon as I've mixed them. I sent him my new single before anyone else, as I trust him and I know how excited he is to hear it.
I've always been impressed by how he's not been affected by being in the limelight. He's a humble lad, which is rare these days, and I want to be like that, too, as fame can make you big-headed and add too much swagger.
He's unbelievable to watch playing football as he's in a position where he runs up and down in defence and attack and effectively does two jobs, and it sets him apart. He's one of the best [left-backs] out there I think, and I'd say that he's more creative than Ashley Cole, though Ashley's always pinching his place in the England line-up.
Leighton Baines, 28
Baines began his football career at Wigan Athletic in 2002, before joining Everton FC. He scored his first international goal as an England player last September, in a 2014 World Cup qualification match against Moldova. He lives in Liverpool.
I'd been a big fan of what Miles had done as far back as 2007; I'd been to a couple of Rascals gigs, and being a local band, they got on to my radar a bit quicker. I was at a WWE wrestling match a year later with my son and we bumped into him. I wasn't sure whether he knew who I was, but we got chatting and swapped numbers.
He lived above this coffee-shop and I started going over a couple of times a week after training, talking music in his flat then going down to have a bite to eat; it felt natural as we had so much in common and now it's got to the stage where he feels like a brother to me.
Football is big in this country and as a player you can become so immersed that it can take over your life. So I like to shut the door on football, to escape, and that's where music comes in for me. I've been to Glastonbury and T in the Park with Miles and I got to peek inside his world. I always had this perception of rock stars bingeing on drugs and alcohol and that wayward behaviour. But the thing that surprised me was his dedication to his work and how he's had to sacrifice the same as I have, such as not drinking or going out at the right times.
There's a playlist mix that the lads at Everton listen to in the changing-room before and after a game. The lads mostly chose hip-hop and R&B, but I've tried to open their eyes and introduce some other stuff, which doesn't always go down well. But since I've been playing Miles's stuff to them, someone has taken it upon themselves to add some of his singles – "Come Closer" and "Inhaler" – to the mix. It's only one in every 15, but it's nice to hear it pop up.
After he did his first solo album, he could easily gone back to the Last Shadow Puppets, but he's gone out and made a second album, which I think was the right thing to do as it's a bolder step.
Fashion ties in with music and football and we're both quite particular about how clothes sit on us, and we share the same tailor. We both buzz off the Mod look, but he trumps me with style; he's got a bit more flamboyance. I joke that he should grab the leopard gear and leather kecks hidden in his locker and push those boundaries a bit further.
Miles Kane is performing on the NME Tour until 23 February (nme.com/awards/tour). 'Give Up', the first single from a forthcoming, as-yet unnamed album, is out on 24 February
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