I Am Kloot – Liverpool University, 25/02/2001
There’s a storm warning. There’s a hurricane coming. It’s really not a big deal though, so get out from under the table, and put away Granddad’s old WW1 gas mask. It’s gonna be a really ickle storm, probably localised to the nearest tea-cup. Actually, if you cough a bit loud, you might even miss it completely. If you do catch it however, prepare to have your soul ripped forcibly from your chest. It might be quiet, but it’s as malevolent as it is calculating. And if you listen really close, you might hear a faint snigger.
Prepare yourself for instant melody. Prepare for acoustic guitars that summon more power than At The Drive-In existing in hyper-reality. Prepare for understatement trampling the overstated with sardonic symmetry and dry wit. There’s a certain malevolent evil manifest in Kloot’s songs that bubbles just below the beauty. ‘There’s blood on your legs - I love you’ croons little Manc upstart Johnny Bramwell on set opener ‘Twist’, a lilting stop-start beauty of a song that dies a death at the end of each line in equal parts romance and irony. The brooding acoustic guitar, accompanied by wash cymbals and hypnotic bass, provides the perfect foil for Johnny’s reverb-tastic acousto-vocals, and its clear that these songs have a pop element that is entrenched in the bitter-sweet. This band is essential.
Or, they would be if anyone were here to see all this. Its not quite one man and his dog scenario but its not far off, with the guest-list comprising at least half the audience, and eclectic Aussie-fronted Manc band support, Indigo Jones, also helping to swell the numbers beyond their true nature. However, if I Am Kloot do go arse up, Johnny could forge a career in stand-up comedy, his sand-paper dry musings providing the perfect accompaniment to his similarly emotive songs. They’re creeping up behind us, dead slowly, but its unlikely that they would have it any other way. In their own words, “we can change people’s lives at three decibels.” They’re certainly not wrong.