Star rating - 10/10
I make no apologies for my lack of objectivity here - I Am Kloot are my favourite band and I love seeing them live, so this gorgeous gig in the beautiful and acoustically damn near perfect St. Philip's Church in Salford, just an extremely competent stone's throw away from the best city in the world (God's own - Manchester - in case you haven't guessed) was always going to be a bit special for me.
But I felt a bit like a kid on Christmas Day unwrapping my presents to hear them perform lots of new songs from their forthcoming album Let It All In, due out in January 2013. The good news is that the new material sounds brilliant, and on first hearing has all the musical and lyrical charm that fans of IAK have come to expect. The more I hear John Bramwell's brilliant lyrics, the more I am convinced he is a bloody genius - with an ear for turning the common and often mundane events of daily life into witty and poignant musings that go straight to the heart of the matter. Their new single Hold Back the Night is a case in point.
But as well as new material, and plenty of it, we were treated to plenty of old gems including the crowd pleasing damn near perfect favourites Twist and Proof. They also performed some songs they haven't sung live for a while, like Titanic - groovy... Honest and irreverent melodic insights into relationships, drinking and disaster are of course Bramwell's specialist subject. And he gets top marks.
The band were on great form - with understated and substantial talent also coming as usual from Pete Jobson and Andy Hargreaves. For me I Am Kloot personify all that is fantastic and unique about Manchester - from its precipitous climate, to its poetry and soul, and its ability to self destruct, wrapped in a cloak of swagger and confidence. I can't wait for my Valentine's date with them at the Ritz.