Star rating – 9/10
Another unique and atmospheric venue to see my favourite band of the moment – I Am Kloot at Manchester Cathedral. And it was another fantastic night, although Johnny Bramwell seemed a little more subdued than when I saw them on the boat in Bristol a couple of months ago. This time the addition of the string section that light up their latest album ’Sky At Night’ really gave the tunes they played on added depth.
And much though I love and admire the charismatic frontman, I have a sneaking admiration two for the other two regular Kloot members, Andrew Hargreaves on drums and Pete Jobson on bass. They seem content to go about their craft in a supportive and quiet way, a foil to the shining star of Bramwell, but brilliant all the same. Johnny was not in a talkative mood for his home crowd, but he did make the old crack about calling the crowd weird. He said he tells all the crowds that in other places but in Manchester he really means it – surely not.
The set was full of new tunes and old favourites. Plenty of songs were featured from ‘Sky At Night such as ‘To the Brink’, which is my personal favourite from that album; ‘I Still Do’; and Fingerprints’. And while I was standing there watching them and listening to the music, I was struck by the brilliant poetic lyrics of Bramwell, as if noticing some of the words for the first time – like ‘dust yourself for fingerprints and grin’ – really very clever and deep when you ponder them.
Among the older songs they treated the crowd to the heartfelt and haunting ballads like ‘From Your Favourite Sky’ and ‘No Fear of Falling’ stood out for me. Bramwell was understandably disconcerted when his guitar amp stopped working for a while in between sets, but he managed to hold it together to stay calm enough to brush over it. The cathedral is a beautiful and atmospheric venue, even if it is not my particular denomination, and it was great to see the Kloot perform there. They are a joy to watch, and even on a subdued evening they were still in turns quietly, and noisily, brilliant throughout.