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I Am Kloot - Natural History

  by Denzil Watson

published: 17 / 12 / 2001

I Am Kloot - Natural History
Label: We Love You
Format: CD


Manchester's 'I am Kloot' have been all too easily pigeon-holed into the nu-acoustic stool-gazing movement along with fellow Mancunian strummers Elbow and Alfie. Perhaps this doesn't do justice to the

Manchester's 'I am Kloot' have been all too easily pigeon-holed into the nu-acoustic stool-gazing movement along with fellow Mancunian strummers Elbow and Alfie. Perhaps this doesn't do justice to their cabaret, jazz-tinged brand of pop. After a couple of singles for Uglyman Records, their debut album 'Natural History' (for the We love You / Wall of Sound label) sounds incredibly contemporary and mature for a band barely two years old. Perhaps this can be put down to the fact that main-man Johnny Bramwell has lived a bit. After busking the streets of Paris, Athens and San Fransisco and shacking up in a caravan in North Wales he eventually returned to his native Manchester to a job as a promoter. Here he was joined by Pete Jobson (on bass guitar) and Andy Hargreaves (drums) through contacts made while putting on local acts. The band made their live debut in the Autumn of '99 and now, two years down the line, the Kloot sound has matured to the extent that making comparisons with luminaries such as The La's and The Go Betweens is far from ludicrous. Bramwell's ability to pen twisted kitchen-sink tales of humdrum urban life and unrequited love, delivered in his characteristic scally drawl and coupled with his barbed one-liners make it one of this year's essential long players. Opening track 'For you' sets the tone with it's clever wordplay and it's infectious falsetto chorus of "won't someone, somewhere marry me". The up-beat acoustic strum of 'Bigger Wheels' borders on skiffle, while the altogether mellower solo guitar of "No Fear of Falling" is perhaps reminiscent of Billy Bragg. On the album's only instrumental cut, the atmospheric 'Loch', one can almost feel the morning mist gently rising off the water. The standout track has to be 'Storm Warning' which probably sound tracks one of many a drunken afternoon spent round the boozers of a rain soaked Manchester. 'Dark Star', which proceeded the album as a single, is also a contender with its killer melody and effortless la-la-la-la chorus - two-minute acoustic perfection. 'Sunlight hits the Snow', with its piss-take 'Bullet the Blue Sky' drum intro, gives way to a more jazz influenced rhythm and continues the album's strong meteorological thread. The acoustic soap opera of 'Twist' spawns the albums best lyrical moments - "we fuck and we fight while someone else does the dishes...........There's blood on your legs, I love you". Finally the melancholic 'Because' brings everything to an end and is probably one of the most beautiful and touching songs you will hear this year. “We can change people’s lives at three decibels.” Johnny Bramwell once quipped. Perhaps quiet is the new loud after all. Whatever you do don't miss out on this album. Who knows? It may well just change your life.

Track Listing:-
1 To You
2 Morning Rain
3 Bigger Wheels
4 No Fear Of Falling
5 Loch
6 Storm Warning
7 Dark Star
8 Stop
9 Sunlight Hits The Snow
10 Twist
11 88 TV's
12 Because

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Interview with Jonny Bramwell Part 2 (2004)
I Am Kloot - Interview with Jonny Bramwell Part 2
In the second part of our interview with acclaimed Manchester group I am Kloot, frontman Jonny Bramwell talks to Anthony Dhanendran about playing Glastonbury and the band's recent collaboration with Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston
Interview with Jonny Bramwell Part 1 (2004)

live reviews

Albert Hall, Manchester, 10/4/2015
I Am Kloot - Albert Hall, Manchester, 10/4/2015
Manchester’s finest cult band, I Am Kloot, perform a remarkable hometown set in former city centre church, the Albert Hall, and an awestruck Dixie Ernill is there to witness
Academy 3, Manchester, 14/2/2010
Deaf Institute, Manchester, 17/9/2009
Leadmill, Sheffield, 23/4/2005

digital downloads



Hold Back the Night (2015)
Magical double CD live album from acclaimed Manchester-based indie pop trio, I Am Kloot
From Your Favourite Sky (2004)
Twist/ 86 TV's (2001)

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