THE comparisons with Elbow are obvious and nearly unavoidable in recent mentions of I Am Kloot but I wonder if the querying of whether the Manchester trio would like to emulate the stadium-sized success of their fellow Mancunians ever gets their goat.
Let's face it, Kloot, as they are, are doing alright.
The evidence is there in Oran Mor: an endearingly dog-eared threesome, sometimes augmented by additional percussion or a trumpet or a saxphone, adored by a sell-out crowd, making the most of a new tour's opening night.
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John Bramwell, a pub poet of pedigree, tours through six rich albums of material with just the odd missed word or pause. No one minds, not during a delicious Because or an emotional I Still Do. The audience are happy for Astray, hushed for Proof and captured entirely for Radiation.
Touring their sixth album, Let It All In, Bramwell and Kloot cohorts Andy Hargreaves, on drums, and Pete Jobson, on guitar, look like men who have been around the block and lived – just – to tell the tale. There are no surprises here, which is to be expected (they have been band mates for 14 years), but surprises are not what Kloot fans come for.
What they come for is the wryly wrought lyrics about love and liquor, a combination inspiring a lugubrious devotion in those who have conspired to keep them Manchester's most successful secret.
A stadium set is nice but success is relative. I Am Kloot look like they're doing fine, just as they are. The evidence was there in Oran Mor in an endearingly dog-eared threesome and a room warm with expectations met.