REVIEW: I Am Kloot - Manchester Ritz

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STRANGE band I Am Kloot. Up until being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize for 2010’s The Sky At Night, they were chugging quietly along in the background, without any real acclaim or attention, consistently churning out beautiful songs which made absolutely no impact on the majority of the population (none better than the tunes on 2001 debut album, Natural History).

The Mercury nomination changed everything. They now play at bigger venues (selling out the 1,800 capacity Ritz for two nights running) and you can tell they must be making an extra bob or two with four extra musicians (including a saxophone player … big time) on stage at this gig.

Good for them. They deserve it – a victory of sorts for real bands who record and tour and graft for years.

Frontman John Bramwell has a unique, rasping Mancunian delivery which adds an extra layer of emotion to the band’s delicate, fragile songs.

Here they played plenty of material from latest album Let It All In, released a few weeks ago to favourable reviews, as well as old favourites like Proof, Storm Warning and From Your Favourite Sky.

Their music won’t suit everyone. Some will feel it is too slow and ponderous. But those who display a bit of patience and immerse themselves in it will be rewarded - it is just fine songwriting.

Live they are even better than on record, mainly because of Bramwell’s wit and chat between songs. As he noted, he is the only frontman with a catchphrase. “This one,” he regularly says before introducing a song, “is about love ... and disaster”. What’s not to like? Highly recommended.