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14 Music Week 30.11.12 PROFILE IAMKLOOT

One of Britain’s most endearing bands have just made the album of their career. After 13 years of ‘drinking and disaster’ are I Am Kloot finally about to hit the big time?




here are some very funny moments on X Factor. You can’t deny it. You know when they get all the poor singers who’ve been

chucked out back in for a big medley? The worst one was when they did Earth Song by Michael Jackson, and they were all missing their cues and that. Then the camera pans to this woman who’s screaming, out of time: ‘What about dignity?’” I Am Kloot certainly know how to tell an

entertaining story. Whether it’s John Bramwell’s twitchy balladic

yarns on exceptional new LP Let It All In or bassist Peter Jobson paying tribute to the paradoxes of Simon Cowell’s creations down the pub, the trio are acutely attuned to the finely-balanced rhythms and restraint required to tease your attention towards a gratifying lyrical haymaker. They are a comfily contented, bristly troupe, all

aged north of 40 and with 13 years of ale-soaked, woe-steeped melodies in the bank. Endearingly, they clearly still love to make each other giggle: hunkered down over pints of Guinness in a Kings Cross boozer, lead singer Bramwell’s filthy cackle fires out like a spud-gun – a mischievous rasping sibling to his crackling vocal delivery on record. Jobson, the band’s contemplative anchor who

hardly whispers a word on stage, speaks in a deep, considered baritone weathered by a chilly childhood on the Scottish border. Drummer Andy Hargreaves, sporting a bushy beard peppered with flecks of grey, is less stoic. He admits he’s not


ABOVE They are Kloot: From left, drummer Andy Hargreaves, frontman John Bramwell and bassist Peter Jobson

quite sure what day it is – a direct consequence of a boozy whistle-stop stay over in Holland for Crossing Border Festival – but is more certain of apocryphal personal facts about Kloot’s mercurial frontman. (When we discuss the manager who famously instructed Ed Sheeran to dye his fiery locks, Hargreaves hisses: “What a motherfucker. That’s atrocious, a properly shit thing to do. Just as well we weren’t signed to him, really – Johnny’s got ginger bollocks.” Cue more sniggering.) The warmhearted, piss-taking kinship that

endures between these merry men is gladdening; Kloot’s damaging career hindrances would surely have contaminated the bonds between a less convivial trio. On stage, Bramwell introduces

Chrysalis-founded Echo imprint – where, for whatever reason, Kloot’s potential never quite blossomed. Echo hit the financial skids soon after, causing turmoil for the band as they watched the rights to their recordings sink down into opaque layers of corporate sludge. “Echo technically still owns all our old

his bruising songs as tales of “drinking and disaster”, a motto that could be crudely applied to Kloot’s rocky professional journey: harshly pegged back by the latter and gratefully soothed by the former. Back at the turn of the Millenium, Ugly Man

Let It All In by I Am Kloot is released on January 21, 2013 via Shepherd Moon

“When they tried to close 6Music, we were specifically used as an example as to why it should continue to exist. That says

everything to me” ANDY HARGREAVES, I AM KLOOT

Records founder Guy Lovelady brought Kloot to the world by funding some vinyl EP releases. Wall Of Sound then signed the band for their overlooked masterpiece of a debut, Natural History (2001), which drew uncharacteristic enthusiasm from influential critics. But Kloot’s good fortune wasn’t built to last.

Their next two albums, 2003’s self-titled effort and 2005’s Gods & Monsters were signed to the

recordings, so it’s really hard to track them down,” explains Jobson, forlornly. “No-one outside the music business would ever do your typical old- fashioned record deal because it’s absurd and galling: you made the music but suddenly it doesn’t belong to you any longer.” As Kloot’s ascent stalled, their Manchester-orientated compatriots soared. Elbow and Badly Drawn Boy won Mercury prizes; Doves enjoyed platinum sales and Top 10 singles; Stephen Fretwell’s Run was hand-picked for the Gavin & Stacey theme tune. These were close peers

whose embryonic live performances Bramwell and Jobson would have hosted when working at Manchester’s Night & Day venue – and whom, to their immense credit, the pair still discuss with pride and not a flicker of envy. But for Kloot themselves, this plentiful well of Noughties success ran dry, particularly on national radio. “What the fuck would there be – and where

the fuck would we be – without 6Music?,” posits Hargreaves, humbly crediting the station with keeping the band’s career rolling during a

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