I Am Kloot - Manchester Hop & Grape - 16.1.01

Homecoming gigs, you just can't beat em. Its all about that bond you have with the band - the in jokes about the local freaky character down the road, the banter between the frontman and his mates down the front. I Am Kloot frontman Johnny Dangerously is simply a Manchester legend. OK he's not a superstar on the Ian Brown or Liam Gallagher level, but ask anyone who frequents the Northern Quarter area of Manchester and they'll all have a story to tell.

After the cancelled Victoria Baths show last month the night is theirs, despite the fact that its only a humble support slot for the Webb Brother. Walking on stage with the confidence of true pro (rather than the arrogance of Noel Gallagher), a feat hard to do with just a simple set up of acoustic guitar, bass and lightly brushed drums. "This is Twist, a song about being covered in blood and enjoying it" is uttered with the dark humour last seen when Hillary Briss whispered "Do want some of the Special Stuff".

The songs, with the exception of the aforementioned Twist, are simply glorious acoustic laments. When a band comes up with cliched titles like "Morning Rain", "Dark Star" and "Stop" you know damn well that they better deliver the goods or they'll just end up on the local band circuit - the band more than deliver. Possessing a certain charm that the Unbelievable Truth had; in your heart you know its nothing new but somehow they charm the pants off you. Its like being at the school disco with a host of Dawson's Creek extra's and realizing that the unconventional geek beside you is the one you really love.

They've come a long way in the 6 months since I last saw them and the album should build on that. For any of you old enough to remember, lets just be thankful that he's not presenting some 2nd rate version of "The Word" on Granada.

Alex McCann