Review: I Am Kloot – rare blend of hope and melancholy

18 Apr 2013 @ 9.09 am
| Entertainment
“A performance worthy of the grand venue”: I Am Kloot
Review: I Am Kloot
Venue: Grand Opera House, Tuesday, April 16

I Am Kloot are so deliciously Mancunian that for a moment I’m home. Six of them stride out onto a stage covered in candles, and although the Opera House is far from full, they’re met with a reception worthy of your favourite band returning after 30 years.

This is going to be far more civilised than their gig at The Duchess back in 2011. For a start I’m sitting down and the bar is at least two flights of stairs away.

To be honest, I’m happy about being sat down. There’s only so much appreciative swaying you can do to this never-up-tempo miserable folk music. That sounds negative. But I love miserable folk music, and I’m not alone. As frontman John Bramwell introduces To The Brink as a song about drinking and disaster, I’m not the only one who cheers. They provide the perfect soundtrack for indulging a bad mood.

They play so seamlessly together, too – a product of their six album career, no doubt – And the addition of the brass to their live set up makes their performance worthy of the grandeur of the venue. It feels like a special occasion.

For a couple of tracks Bramwell is left alone and we really get to absorb his unmistakable tones. His voice seems to resonate on a different level to anyone else’s. It’s the gritty voice of the Northern working class.

They’re touring their latest album Let It All In, but this setlist read like a greatest hits, with many of the tracks from their Mercury Prize nominated fifth album Sky At Night, making a welcome appearance.

They’re hopelessly romantic and heartbreaking. They’re a rare blend of hope and melancholy. And, as I’ve said, they’re so deliciously Mancunian, which comforts my homesick heart. Every song takes me home.