I was fortunate to enjoy a double dose of I Am Kloot over the past week. Getting to see two different sides of this Mancunian trio was a rare treat, experience both a plugged-in show and an intimate acoustic set. Part one of my Kloot double feature occurred Wednesday at the Mercury Lounge. During the course of an hour, the temperature dropped nearly thirty degrees outside, turning NYC’s skies frigid and grey. This made for the perfect backdrop to frontman John Bramwell’s dark yet beautiful melodies. The crowd was quite possibly the most polite group of music fans I have ever encountered, keeping their attention solely focused on every word and note. The set varied from old, current, and new tunes, many of which I had never heard before. While on record this band is refined and melancholy, their songs take on a different vibe on stage. They turn it up a bit, adding just enough rock to slap you in the face without knocking you out. What impressed me the most was the sheer musical talent of this trio. Bassist Peter Jobson jumped octaves and harmonics with ease, while drummer Andy Hargreaves weaved intricate rhythm patterns into the mix. The set included a few personal favorites off their self-titled record, including "From Your Favourite Sky" and "Life In A Day".
Part two of my Kloot double feature happened Thursday here at the Cornerstone NYC offices. John Bramwell sat down for a brief set with his acoustic guitar and a pint of Guinness. Stripping away all the production values of an album, leaving only the basics of guitar and vocals, shows how good a song really is. Bramwell’s keen sense of melody and lyrical wit was shown clearly in his music. He included a few older songs, including their early UK singles "Titanic And Twist" as well as the amazing "86 TVs". After hearing several songs about “drinking and destruction” he through in the crowd pleasing “Proof”. Such talented songwriting deserves to be heard, so make sure you listen to I Am Kloot’s self-titled release, which is out now in the US on World’s Fair/Echo.