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I am Kloot - A night lit with stars
on 5 July 2010
Well done the Financial times is all I can say. It's not a paper that is regularly posted through the letterbox but an off chance reading of it at a public library turned up a short review of "I am Kloot's" new album "Sky at Night" which ended with the plea that it is "time surely for this Manchester band of everymen to have their day in the sun too". The FT is emphatically right "Sky at night" is a revelation and an album of consummate song-writing and big songs. Unbelievably this is the fifth album for this three piece Mancunian band who comprise John Bramwell (guitar/vocals), Peter Jobson (bass)and Andy Hargreaves (drums). They formed in 1999 and sadly over that period have been so far below the radar that a Lockheed Blackbird would have had trouble spotting them. Dear old John Peel tried his best to promote the band but we didn't listen properly.
"I am Kloot's" predicament has some similarities to there mentors and great chums in Elbow who also struggled to gain their rightful recognition for far too many years until they unleashed the wonders of the "Seldom Seen Kid" one of the greatest albums of the last or any decade for that matter. Since 2001 "I am Kloot" have had a big Elbow connection with Guy Garvey producing their debut and for their latest Garvey has enlisted fellow band mate Craig Potter to help at the mixing desk. It appears that the newly found "Elbow Magic" has rubbed off and resulted in another brilliant Kloot album but one this time that represents a real leap in consistency and maturity.
Clearly the two big songs on here intended to draw people in are the opener "Northern Skies" currently subject to blanket playing on Radio 2 and the penultimate song the jaw dropping "Radiation". Both songs are very different with the former having a countryish feel and makes for an ideal single with a brilliant video featuring Christopher Eccleston to accompany it. "Radiation" starts off as altogether more sparse and beautiful affair that then breaks into huge almost ELO like orchestration midway and superb vocals by Bramwell where he repeats the lines "Everything we ever thought, we'd ever want, me and you, well it just came through" over a pounding backdrop. In short it's a storming song and massive highlight. Yet my true favourite's on the album are the slow burners like "I Still do" which is achingly beautiful and destined for classic status, equally the Richard Hawley style piano ballad "Its just the night" has a lonely desolation and sadness which captures perfectly a gin soaked evening which has gone wrong. "The moon is a blind eye" pulls on every emotional pulse in your body, while "Lately" is slightly bluesy but the huge wall of backing harmonies are pure "Abbey Road" and the late Dr Winston O Boogie would have loved to tackle this head on. Finally "Proof" seems to have been on every album they have recorded including a more raw version on the 2006 John Peel Sessions. This newer version is a gentler affair but remains a great song.
All the songs on here are class and "Sky at night" is the perfect title for this album. Walk out and look at those bright stars, ignore the light rain, breath out into the cold night air and reflect; then ask yourself when was the last time you last heard an album this good?