I Am Kloot | Pop review

Bush Hall, London

I Am Kloot are Manchester's best-kept musical secret. After 10 years toiling away in the margins, the trio seem set to make a commercial quantum leap with their imminent, lavish fifth album, Sky at Night, produced by Elbow's Guy Garvey and Craig Potter.

Singer John Bramwell acknowledges the upturn as he gazes out from a stage crammed with violinists, a trumpeter and other newly acquired musical accessories. "This is not exactly our normal set-up," he admits, introducing To the Brink. "But some things remain the same. This song is about drinking and disaster."

The expansive instrumentation suits Sky at Night, a rich album full of songs in which a doomed romanticism is undercut with mordant wit. I Am Kloot play the record in full, with Bramwell's knowing drawl the perfect vehicle for sumptuous songs such as the sublimely lovelorn Proof.

Bramwell and his Kloot cohorts Pete Jobson (guitar) and Andy Hargreaves (drums) look like session men, or at least men who've had a few sessions, but their lugubrious, careworn demeanour suits these songs. The stark Radiation recalls Bowie right down to the camply elongated vowels, while set-closer Same Shoes could be Suede at their most beautifully jaded.

They return as their usual trio, shorn of the mini-orchestra, for a lengthy encore of crowd-pleasers such as Storm Warning and Twist, but it is the new album that makes by far the bigger impact. If I Am Kloot are to follow Elbow and Pulp in becoming 10-years-in overnight successes, their time is assuredly now.


Ian Gittins

The GuardianTramp

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