I Am Kloot
|I Am Kloot|
I Am Kloot live at the Paradiso, Amsterdam, August 2007
|Genres||Alternative rock, Indie rock|
|Labels||Ugly Man Records
Wall of Sound
The Echo Label
Skinny Dog Records
|Associated acts||Elbow, The Mouth|
I Am Kloot were formed from the ashes of The Mouth, a band formed by fellow singer-songwriters John Bramwell and Bryan Glancy. Bramwell, who was born and brought up in Hyde, Cheshire, had previously played with bands including The Ignition, Five Go Off To Play Guitar and The Face Brothers and performed solo as Johnny Dangerously. Peter Jobson moved from Northumberland to Manchester to study at Salford College (where he graduated with a BA Hons in Popular Music and Recording) and befriended Bramwell at The Night and Day Café, where they both ended up working for five years booking bands. Jobson first saw Bramwell play at Castlefield Arena in central Manchester on 15 June 1996, the day of the IRA Bomb and ended up joining The Mouth who have previously released one single "Bang", replacing the band's original bassist Simon Burns. The band split with Glancy after he went on holiday a week before a tour and didn't return for three weeks, began working on Bramwell's songs and changed their name to I Am Kloot.
The band released their debut double A-Side single "Titanic/To You" in November 1999 and second double A-Side single "Twist/86 TV's" in March 2000 on local label Ugly Man Records before signing to Wall of Sound imprint "We Love You" to release their debut album Natural History in March 2001. Having decided against recording the album in the band's rehearsal space in Jobson's basement, it was recorded with Elbow frontman Guy Garvey in a church on the Isle of Mull. Despite being heralded by the NME as figureheads of the so called New Acoustic Movement, the band returned home from touring to find the label had gone bust, owing the band money. The album went out of press in the UK, which Bramwell later described as a stalling moment for the band, but was still available in Europe due to it being distributed by a different label, so the band toured Holland, Germany and France instead of focusing on the UK.
Following two years of contractual problems, the band signed to The Echo Label and released their self titled second album I Am Kloot in September 2003 with Bramwell stating that the band didn't "fit into the current Strokes/White Stripes rock thing, so we're out on a limb again. The album was produced by Chris Potter, with Ian Broudie producing one song, "Life in a Day". Despite originally planning to release "Proof" as a single to promote the album, going as far as approving artwork and tracklisting, as well as commissioning a promo video starring Christopher Eccleston, it ended up not reciving a commerical release in the UK. Instead, the promo video was made available through the band's website and only received a physical release in the Benelux countries on the PIAS record label. At the time, Bramwell claimed that the single wasn't released properly as they "didn’t want to do any singles any more", but later admitted that the record label refused to release it.
The band released their third album Gods and Monsters in April 2005 via The Echo Label. The album was recorded at Moolah Rouge Studios in Stockport with Joe Robinson, who had previously worked with Badly Drawn Boy and Alfie. During sessions for the album, they placed microphones everwhere, commenting that they "were miking up things that were vibrating because we were playing. If you’ve got a tabletop with cups and saucers on it, it might vibrate when you play a certain note, and not when you play others. So you mike up the tabletop, and play the song, and on certain notes you get these strange sounds" and added that they "kept it sparse, not layering it up so much as adding colour". Bramwell proclaimed that "something clicked in the last 12 months, I felt as if the band had just begun, as if we'd sprung from the head of Zeus in Full body armour". In August 2005, the band parted ways with The Echo Label after it "became clear the label were unable to sustain the band's financial backing". It transpired that the label's parent company, the Chrysalis Group had announced a restructuring of The Echo Label after announcing a loss of over £2.0 million, resulting in a change of direction at the label and dropping many of its roster including Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Stands, with I Am Kloot jumping before they were pushed.
On 21 November 2005, the band released the Guy Garvey/Craig Potter produced stand-alone single "Maybe I Should" via their own label, Skinny Dog Records. The single followed a domestic tour, which saw the band play some of their biggest headlining shows, culminating with a show at the London Astoria. In April 2006, "Only Role in Town" became available as a free download and this was followed by the October 2006 release of an album of session tracks that were recorded for John Peel's BBC Radio One programme over two sessions in 2001 and 2004.
The band released their fourth album I Am Kloot Play Moolah Rouge intially as a limited edition hand numbered 2000 copy CD in November 2007 at three shows at the Manchester Academy. Songs from the album were premiered at the same venues exactly a year previous in November 2006. It received a full commercial release through Skinny Dog Records on 14 April 2008 with an additional DVD featuring an interview and a live TV performance of the album. The album was recorded live with no overdubs at Moolah Rouge Studios with brothers Colin & Norman McLeod producing and adding additional instrumentation, with Bramwell commenting that the band "might have returned to something that we had initially, which we all think is maybe quite a good idea".
The band released their fifth album, Sky at Night on 5 July 2010 through Shepherd Moon Records/EMI Label Services. The album was originally intended to be released in 2009, with recording sessions having begun in January that year, but was delayed due to Moolah Rouge Studios going into liquidation and disrupting recording. The album was produced by Craig Potter and Guy Garvey, and resulted in "the greatest sales and acclaim" of the band's career. Jobson noted that the album "was definitely where things went up a gear, in the UK at least. We got played on the radio, which had never happened before, and then to be nominated for the Mercury was massive for a band like us – we’ve always been about word of mouth" and admitted that prior to the album being released, that "after 10 years of gigging and working hard, we basically had nothing at all - no manager, label, money, we were pretty fucked up to be honest". Bramwell described the album as "a bit of a sidestep; a one-off, single-themed, late-night, romantic LP".
The sixth studio album, Let It All In, was released on 21 January 2013 following a live stream of the album on the Guardian website. The album featured the eventual release of the song "Even The Stars", which was regularly played live prior to the release of I Am Kloot Play Moolah Rouge, but was ommited from the album. It was then set to feature on Sky At Night, with Bramwell stating that the song was "almost like a single. The thing with singles is they tend to not have all the Kloot elements in them because they’ve got too poppy. But this song has got a real hook, but it’s still got a lot of the soul and ghostliness that all Kloot songs should have", but again was then ommited from that album. The version eventually released is much slower than previous versions, with Bramwell admitting that the band had "tried recording it in many different ways; I think we’ve finally found one that works in a Kloot way. There are some more exciting live versions of it that we’ve done, but when we tried recording it previously it didn’t work".
In May 2013, the band announced their biggest headline show to date, which was held at the O2 Apollo Manchester venue in December 2013, and fans were asked by the band to submit song requests.
In 2014, the band scored the incidental music for the BBC One television miniseries From There to Here, with the first episode aired 22 May. The music was composed and recorded by the band members individually, with them not having seen each other since December 2013. In down time from the band, Jobson toured Europe with singer-songwriter Nadine Shah and Bramwell undertook a UK solo acoustic tour.
In July 2014, Jobson revealed that the band's "last 2 albums have been very elaborate and our business set up has been very corporate. Although that has brought benefits it has also distracted us from what Kloot is about. Some of the most commercially successful things we have done have been artistically and personally the most unrewarding" and added that this period had "taken its toll on our relationship. We were doing something we didn´t want to do. It took a while to find that out. We were pretty sick for a while there."
Sky at Night was shortlisted for the 2010 Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize. In response to the nomination, Bramwell stated: "I thought we'd be out of, off people's radar enough, that they wouldn't have, kind of, noticed. One of the factors why they actually did pay attention to this record is the fact that Guy [Garvey] and Craig [Potter] produced it."
- Natural History (2001) (#119 UK)
- I Am Kloot (2003) (#68 UK)
- Gods and Monsters (2005) (#74 UK, #200 FR)
- BBC Radio 1 John Peel Sessions (2006)
- I Am Kloot Play Moolah Rouge (2007) (#74 NL)
- B (2009)
- Sky at Night (2010) (#24 UK, #51 NL, #59 AT, #95 DE)
- Let It All In (2013) (#10 UK, #37 NL, #45 AT, #49 DE, #61 BE-VLG, #143 BE-WAL)
From Natural History
- "To You"/"Titanic" (1999, Ugly Man, only 1000 vinyl copies released)
- "Twist"/"86 TV's" (2000, Ugly Man, double A-side on CD and red vinyl)
- "Dark Star" (2001, CD and vinyl) (#90 UK)
- "Morning Rain" (2001, CD and vinyl) (#94 UK)
From I Am Kloot
- "Untitled #1" (2003, limited edition vinyl) (#101 UK)
- "Life in a Day" (2003, 2×CD and vinyl) (#43 UK
- "3 Feet Tall" (2003, 2×CD and vinyl) (#46 UK)
- "From Your Favourite Sky" (2004, numbered CD and download)
- "Proof" (2004, download)
From Gods and Monsters
- "Over My Shoulder" (2005, CD and 2×vinyl) (#38 UK)
- "Gods and Monsters (Two Lone Swordsmen)"
- "I Believe" (download)
From I Am Kloot Play Moolah Rouge
- "Hey Little Bird" (2008, CD)
From Sky at Night
- "Northern Skies"/"Lately" (2010, download)
- "Proof" (2010, download)
- "Fingerprints" (2010, download)
From Let It All In
- "Hold Back the Night" (2012, limited edition 7" vinyl)
- "These Days Are Mine" (2013, limited edition 7" vinyl)
- "Some Better Day" (2013, promo only)
- John Bramwell: songwriter, vocals, guitars
- Peter Jobson: bass guitar, slide guitar, backing vocals, piano, organ
- Andy Hargreaves: drums, percussion, glockenspiel
- David Smythe (4 June 2010). "Sound Check: Underdogs I Am Kloot have their day". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "I Am Kloot". Kendal Calling. Kendal Calling. 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- "I Am Kloot – I Am Kloot". Discogs. Discogs. 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- Chrysalis Group PLC Annual Report 2006
- "I Am Kloot – BBC Radio 1 John Peel Sessions". Discogs. Discogs. 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- "I Am Kloot – Play Moolah Rouge". Discogs. Discogs. 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- Daniel Ross (4 June 2008). "I Am Kloot I Am Kloot Play Moolah Rouge". Drowned In Sound. Drownedinsound.com. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- "I Am Kloot – B". Discogs. Discogs. 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- "Elbow's Garvey and I Am Kloot's Bramwell talk Mercury Prize". BBC News. 6 September 2010. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- "I Am Kloot - Let It All In". iamkloot.com. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- "I Am Kloot – Let It All In: exclusive album stream". The Guardian. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- "IAK Manchester Apollo". I Am Kloot. I Am Kloot. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
- "Manchester Apollo Requests". I Am Kloot. I Am Kloot. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
- Creamer, Jon (14 May 2014). "Behind the scenes: From There to Here". Televisual Media UK Ltd. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
- Moan, Joe (May 2014). "From There To Here, a "Love Letter For Manchester"". VIVA Lifestyle Magazine. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
- I Am Kloot favouritesky – discography
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 265. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "dutchcharts.nl - I Am Kloot - Gods And Monsters" (in Dutch). Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- "I Am Kloot - I Am Kloot Play Moolah Rouge". dutchcharts.nl - Dutch charts portal (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
- "20/07/2010 - The Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize 2010: Nominees & The Official Charts". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
- "I Am Kloot - Sky At Night". dutchcharts.nl - Dutch charts portal (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
- "charts.de - I Am Kloot - Sky At Night" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "2013 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive 2nd February 2013". Music Archive. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- "I Am Kloot - Let It All In". dutchcharts.nl - Dutch charts portal (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- "charts.de - I Am Kloot - Let It All In" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "ultratop.be - I Am Kloot - Let It All In (Flanders)" (in Dutch). ULTRATOP & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "ultratop.be - I Am Kloot - Let It All In (Walloon)" (in French). ULTRATOP & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "Northern Skies/Lately Digital Multitrack Single Out Now on iTunes. Only £1.98!", 1 June 2010, I Am Kloot official Facebook profile
- "I Am Kloot Return!". News. iamkloot.com. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
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