Arriving at Brighton’s Concorde 2 from the Kemptown side, we were greeted by I Am Kloot* and friends warming up backstage, door open to the beach and singing their hearts out to Elton John’s ‘Your Song’. If that was a surprise, the ensuing gig was predictably brilliant. This is a band without a weak spot, aside from two thirds of the trio’s need to pop off mid-set for a fag.
Andy Hargreaves has got to be up there with the best drummers currently gigging. He confounds the senses, making it impossible to reconcile the aural evidence of complex rhythms with the visual image of a man casually tapping out a beat.
Peter Jobson plays driving bass with vigorous intensity albeit usually from a sedantry position, although for Brighton he stood upright, head bowed.
Singer song-writer, John Bramwell, ensnares every audience with his tales of “drinking…and disaster”, playing acoustic guitar balanced on his leg, right foot astride the monitor amp. Tonight smiles abound, especially when as one the audience comes in a bar too early with the punchline of ‘Proof’, like we do at every gig.
Each song is a perfect vignette of life observed, mistakes made and regretted, and the occasional opportunity grasped, all delivered with a knowing smile and a pint glass in the air to take the applause. I would happily quote every lyric, but will instead content myself with the stand out quiet one from Friday night, ‘The Brink’:
Do you fancy a drink / I know a place called The Brink / D’ya want to go there? /I can buzz off your smile /And there may be people you know there
They’ve got no rule of thumb / so on the counter I strum with my fingers / I adore the surprise of tomorrow’s sunrise / so I linger
Top drawer stuff and thankfully there was a new live album to take home and carry on listening.
*As I discovered on the interweb this evening, “I Am Kloot is a left handed card game made famous in the diaries of Jerome K. Jerome.” If the band’s official site is to believed, that is.
I Am Kloot were at Concorde 2, Brighton on Friday 24 April.