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I Am Kloot - Deaf Institute, Manchester, 17/9/2009

  by Dixie Ernill

published: 24 / 9 / 2009

I Am Kloot - Deaf Institute, Manchester, 17/9/2009


At the second of four sell out gigs in their home town of Manchester, Dixie Ernill watches the still under-rated I Am Kloot play an extended set of their kitchen sink pop gems

For ten years I Am Kloot have been crafting kitchen sink pop nuggets mainly, and somewhat criminally, without the knowledge of the masses. Tonight is the second of four sell out gigs in four nights at one of Manchester’s coolest venues giving the local trio a chance to run through a stunning back catalogue and promote a new b-sides and unreleased rarities CD, simply entitled ‘B’. A few weeks back I saw new band the Heartbreaks play the Deaf Institute and thought I had witnessed the gig of the year, but the fact that this I Am Kloot gig has easily eclipsed that one only bares testament to just how special they are tonight. Playing around 30 songs with a 20 minute interval half way through is certainly one in the eye for bands who struggle to put a 45 minute set together and a superb way to enjoy the full I Am Kloot experience. Indeed each half would have made a perfectly satisfactory gig in itself, but together it is truly wonderful. Despite kicking off just after 8.30pm, the room is so full I spend all the first half watching from the doorway. For the second I manage to find a spot a few feet from the stage, where I can barely move but don’t care. The band start confidently with a couple of classic singles in the shape of 'From Your Favourite Sky' and 'Over My Shoulder' in which singer John Bramwell references the times he worked at the Night and Day in Manchester and was a relatively unknown singer songwriter. With the crowd completely onside, a couple of ace new tracks, 'The Brink' and 'Fingerprints' are mixed in with lesser known album tracks and b-side 'This House Is Haunted'. All are warmly received before the first of many highlights, 'The Same Deep Water As Me' (the brilliant closing track from the band’s self-titled second LP) nearly lifts the roof off as John’s warm and rich vocals does the genius lyrics justice. It really is one of THE great gig moments. A quartet of tracks from debut LP, 'Natural History', follow with 'Sunlight Hits the Snow' sounding even more like the soundtrack to a forgotten 60’s French movie and a stunning '86 TVs' again showcasing John’s brilliant lyrical prowess with the line “we walked into that bar and disappeared in style.” John also shows he is a seasoned frontman as his playful interplay with a female punter has him replying “Tarts? What do I know about tarts?” to her shout of “John ,do you know how much the touts are charging outside....sixty quid!”, before playing '86 TVs'. “Touts!” he blurts out triumphantly at the end of the song with a theatrical knowing smile. A previously unreleased lost gem from ‘B’, 'Glimmer' is next up and, despite being completely new, it instantly hits home. After a faithful rendition of 'A Strange Arrangement of Colour', the first half is concluded with a fine version of debut single 'To You' with John’s high pitched To Yous in the chorus an interesting contrast to his assured Northern vocal. The second half starts in a more subdued, but no less thrilling way, as John offers up a couple of stunning acoustic numbers in the shape of 'No Fear of Falling' and 'The Big Tears'. The audience remains completely quiet throughout both, such is the power of the songs. Bassist Pete Jobson and drummer Andy Hargreaves, who have played immaculately throughout and prove, despite John’s undoubted talents, that I Am Kloot are very much a trio, rejoin the front man for the rest of the set. 'Titanic', a mere B-side to their debut single still remains one of their best tracks and is a beautifully delivered tonight, before another new song from forthcoming LP, 'The Sky at Night', is unveiled. It is quite magnificent and hints at vintage Neil Diamond. Four more cuts from 'Natural History' follow, including wonderful versions of 'Twist', that goes down a storm, and 'Bigger Wheels'. 'Proof' provides the last tender moment as the band finish with a hat trick of rockier numbers culminating in a bruising 'Life in a Day'. There is no encore. There is no need. The band have delivered royally and any more would be utter gluttony. I Am Kloot have raised the bar tonight. Surely the world will catch on?

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I Am Kloot - Deaf Institute, Manchester, 17/9/2009

I Am Kloot - Deaf Institute, Manchester, 17/9/2009

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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
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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)
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