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I Am Kloot - Leadmill, Sheffield, 23/4/2005

  by Geraint Jones

published: 20 / 4 / 2005

I Am Kloot - Leadmill, Sheffield, 23/4/2005


On the first night of their latest tour, Denzil Watson sees the ever intelligent and thoughtful I am Kloot put on an "impeccable and compelling performance" at the Sheffield Leadmill

It's the first night of the tour for Manchester's I am Kloot. Promoting their third LP 'Gods and Monsters', the Leadmill's all of a buzz with a diverse crowd as the three-piece saunter on stage and kick into 'No Direction Home'. Frontman Johnny Bramwell, showing no signs of first night nerves, sounds assured and in fine vocal fettle as he clutches his strapless acoustic guitar and begins to strum away. Since the band's inception six or so years ago "underrated" is a word that seems to follow the band around. While the critics fawn over them it's a mystery why the more mainstream success (such as that enjoyed by fellow Mancunian's Elbow) hasn't come their way. A few songs in and it's difficult not to get drawn in by their unique brand of timeless and twisted acoustic pop. Think the La's mixed with the darker lyrical side of the Go Betweens and you're not far off the mark. Perhaps Bramwell's tales of drunks, failed relationships, self-decay and inclement weather is all too dark for mass radio consumption. OK, the songs do reek of a brutal frankness of what a mess people's lives can become but there's always a glint of beauty or grain of hope for a better tomorrow - something acutely evident on Bramwell's heartfelt solo rendition of 'No Fear of Falling'. The yin of the epic and devastatingly sad 'Because' balanced by the yang of an up-beat rendition of the current single 'Over My Shoulder'. With no line-up changes since the band first started out back in 1999, Andy Hargreaves is rock solid on drums, driving the songs with his ingenious rhythms, while bassist Pete Jobson widens the sound with occasion and subtle touches of piano. Tonight's set draws heavily from all three of their LPs with the new songs sitting well with older material. 'Twist' from debut album 'Natural History' is a Northern kitchen-sink love song with the night's first killer line 'There's blood on your leg, I love yer'. From self-titled LP number two 'Favourite Sky' is every bit of a tear jerker live as it is on record. In fact it's hard to find a weak link in the set, apart from, perhaps, the brief moment when the chorus line on 'Cuckoo' goes slightly awry - a minor flaw though in an otherwise impeccable and compelling performance. Standout song tonight, for me anyhow, has to be 'Storm Warning', soundtrack to many drunken afternoon spent in boozers in a rain soaked Manchester. "This song's about drinking and disaster" deadpans Bramwell. ''For You' with it's clever wordplay and infectious falsetto chorus provides the night's most surreal moment. Enter stage left one Guy Garvey (of the aforementioned Elbow) to sing backing vocals into the Bramwell's mike while embracing him in a bear hug. Finally the band power through the drum-led clatter of 'Life in a Day'. In true New Order style there's no encore. No matter. After 20 or so songs, each a beacon to the art of thoughtful and intelligent song-writing, everyone's had their fill. Pictures taken by Jodie Booth ã bojolo

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I Am Kloot - Leadmill, Sheffield, 23/4/2005

I Am Kloot - Leadmill, Sheffield, 23/4/2005

I Am Kloot - Leadmill, Sheffield, 23/4/2005

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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

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)
Natural History (2001)
Twist/ 86 TV's (2001)

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