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Video of the Moment #1122: I Am Kloot

 
By on Monday, 11th February 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

Elbow‘s buddies I Am Kloot have released a new video for ‘Some Better Day’, their next single out on the 18th of March on their Shepherd Moon label. The visual stars the band as well as John Simm, whose role in this is probably most in line with his Doctor Who appearances, as you will see below.

In January, I Am Kloot released their latest album, ‘Let Them All In’, which Cheryl reviewed here. The band begin a UK tour tomorrow night in Glasgow; all the tour dates are below.

Tuesday 12th February 2013 – Glasgow Oran Mor
Wednesday 13th February 2013 – Leeds Irish Centre
Thursday 14th February 2013 – Manchester Ritz (sold out)
Friday 15th February 2013 – Manchester Ritz
Monday 18th February 2013 – Nottingham Albert Hall
Tuesday 19th February 2013 – London Barbican
Thursday 21st February 2013 – Brighton St. Bartholomew’s Church
Friday 22nd February 2013 – Cambridge Junction
Saturday 23rd February 2013 – Bristol Trinity
Sunday 24th February 2013 – Coventry Warwick Arts Centre

 

Album Review: I Am Kloot – Let Them All In

 
By on Tuesday, 29th January 2013 at 12:00 pm
 

In case you missed it, I Am Kloot have released a new album, ‘Let It All In’. I say ‘in case you missed it’ because not one, but two members of one of my favorite bands, Elbow, were the producers and they are SHAMELESS! Craig Potter, keyboardist and oft-times producer for Elbow is quite worth a follow on Twitter, but when faced with a promotion task, he and his partner in crime Guy Garvey really stepped up their game. After a fast and furious set of hysterical tweets regarding the album’s release on Monday, they ended the day with a haiku. Yes, a haiku:

yes. let it all in.
like moon light in that bedroom
buy new I Am Kloot

I Am Kloot Let Them All In coverBut on to the album. The almost title track ‘Let Them All In’ is indicative of the kind of music we get from I Am Kloot. It’s not big music, but neither is it dismissive. Less folky than 2009’s ‘B’, yet not quite as slickly orchestrated as 2010’s ‘Sky at Night’, ‘Let It All In’ explores both the past and the future in a raw and honest way. Carefully crafted to leave just enough space between the bits to make it rich without being overly done, the tune fills your mind with sensation. This sixth studio album from the nonconformist Manc players is full of the dark twisted songwriting and slight sonic surprises that has marked their career in years past.

To my ear, ‘Bullets’ harkens back to the Richard Hawley/Guy Garvey duet found on Elbow’s Mercury Prize-winning ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’. With the same kind of push and pull that made that song so appealing. ‘Hold Back the Night’ (video below), the first single released in October of last year, is reminiscent of ‘60s activists, maybe a Dylan-esque feel. One of my favorites wraps everything up. ‘Forgive Me These Reminders’ is the perfect blend of loneliness and regret. With a plaintive, simple voice and a gently picked guitar it builds with a jazzy brush played drum and low bass thuds. It’s very torchy and finishes fully developed with delicate strings. They have taken what is awesome about their past offerings and stripped it back a bit. Still found are the jazzy touches, the bit of northern accent creeping in, the strings. But whereas the orchestration felt just a tad too much on their last album, I felt like it really added to what they were doing this time.

Previous album ‘Sky at Night’ was shortlisted for 2010’s Mercury Prize and with heavyweights like Potter and Garvey providing their particular kind of prize winning magic, we could very well see I Am Kloot’s name popping up again this year.

8/10

I Am Kloot’s latest album, ‘Let Them All In’, is out now on Shepherd Moon.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC8kxiOsGbo[/youtube]

 

I Am Kloot / November 2012 English Tour

 
By on Monday, 8th October 2012 at 8:30 am
 

Elbow‘s buddies I Am Kloot have announced a short English tour for early November. The Manchester band will stop in Preston, Salford and London. Salford is already sold out but tickets to the other two shows are still available. The video for ‘Hold Back the Night’, the new single from their forthcoming album ‘Let It All In’ (out on the 21st of January) is below.

Thursday 8th November 2012 – Preston 53 Degrees
Friday 9th November 2012 – Salford St. Paul’s Church (sold out)
Tuesday 20th November 2012 – London Islington Assembly Hall

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC8kxiOsGbo[/youtube]

 

Thirty One – Manchester Charity Compilation to Benefit CALM

 
By on Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 11:00 am
 

Last year I started writing for a magazine called CALMzine, the publication of CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), a nonprofit charity that was founded with support from trustee (and of course, someone who looms very large in the story of Manchester’s musical heritage) Tony Wilson in 2006. CALM’s initial intention and continuing campaign has been to help fight the high suicide rate of men under the age of 35 in the UK.

While the campaign, Web site, magazine and online community targets men in this age group, the support system they have in place including a free, anonymous helpline is open to anyone who needs help. CALM began first with a helpline in the Northwest but in late November, they celebrated the launch of their London helpline at a special party at Topman Oxford Street on the 25th of November 2011, an event that I was glad to have the chance to take in firsthand.

Depression and stress are just two things that all of us have in our lives, yet they are main players in that final, desperate decision: when a person chooses to end his/her life. CALM had provided a safe haven for many of those on the brink, for people who are having difficulty coping with real issues in their lives and have nowhere to turn to.

Running these helplines cost money of course, and right now the helplines are open on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays from 5 PM to midnight. But here is where you can help: CALM’s goal is to have the helpline open every night of the week. Writer/DJ Dave Haslam has curated for the Factory Foundation a special collection of 31 songs, named aptly ‘Thirty One’. Being that it’s Factory related, you can probably guess where this is going…

Yes, ‘Thirty One’ is a compilation of tunes from some of ours here at TGTF and I’m sure some of your favourite Manchester-based artists. Elbow, busy now with work on making the London Olympics this summer sound good to the world, has provided a UK exclusive: a live version of ‘Lippy Kids’ from Pukkelpop. I Am Kloot, not a stranger to charity works as evidenced by their appearance at the Billie Butterfly Fund show I attended last year, have reworked their track ‘Bigger Wheels’ especially for this release. Everything Everything, who also performed at the Billie Butterfly show, offer up their cover of Gloworm’s ‘Carry Me Home’. (I’m quite interested to hear how that one turned out!) A remix of the Whip‘s ‘Secret Weapon’ is also in this collection; if you recall, their ‘Wired Together’ appeared at #5 on my Top Albums of 2011 list. Other bands we’ve banged on about, including Airship, Bad Lieutenant, Delphic, Dutch Uncles, Mr. Scruff and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds all make appearances on this compilation, plus many more. If the music isn’t enough for you, the album also includes art direction from Peter Saville and special photography by Tom Cockram, who’s done some ace shots of Delphic and Egyptian Hip Hop in the past, so I’m expecting the images included on this to be truly lovely.

Support this very worthy cause by buying this collection here, with all the proceeds going directly to CALM. Varying prices allow for different levels of donation: £10, £20 or £31 (get it?), with your choice of 320kbps MP3, FLAC and Apple Lossless, in fully digital (with instant download) and physical digipaks (released the 12th of March) are available. Limited edition vinyl is on sale at Townsend Records.

More often than not, suicide happens because someone has decided his/her life is hopeless. CALM’s mission is to help people in crisis, and your donation by purchasing this album will help them continue this mission.

 

Live Review: ‘Magic in the Air’ Billie Butterfly charity show at Manchester Comedy Store – 28th November 2011

 
By on Tuesday, 13th December 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

In these enlightened days, it seems like complete and utter nonsense that healthcare has, for some, become something financially out of reach. There is nothing more heart-wrenching that to hear about a child who is very ill and can’t get the treatment she needs because the treatment costs some astronomical amount. Billie Bainbridge is a 4-year old English girl. And she has a very rare type of brain tumour. The treatment options in the UK are limited for such a rare condition but the good news is that Billie has been accepted into a clinical trial in Texas (yes, that far away) and has already begun receiving experimental medication but as I mentioned before, medical treatment of this kind does not come cheap. So three great Manchester-based acts – Everything Everything (pictured above), I am Kloot and Badly Drawn Boy – performed free at a charity show directly benefitting the Billie Butterfly Fund, which has been raising money for this little girl’s treatment. (Even though they’ve reached their target of £200,000, they’re still collecting donations and whatever is left over after Billie’s treatment will go towards brain cancer research in the UK, so it’s you can still donate to this worthy cause.)

I am not an attention seeker. Far from it. (Seriously, just ask any of my good friends who live in DC.) But for the evening, I became the most talked-about person of the evening (after Billie, of course); all in good fun, comedian / local Key 103 radio personality Justin Moorhouse latched on to the fact that I was indeed American and yes, I was on holiday in Manchester, celebrating my birthday. (I’m not really clear on why the second part was so funny, but maybe you Brits can explain that one…does Manchester really have *that* bad of a reputation?) Besides me, also being mocked that evening were a joiner who was sat directly in front of me and a girl whose name I think was Chloe, who said she worked at the largest Boots in town. Anyway, just trying to set the stage…

TGTF favourites Everything Everything were up first. Having never seen them before, I didn’t know what to expect. I also wasn’t sure how their pop/rock/hip hop sound was going to translate in an acoustic setting. They started with ‘Photoshop Handsome’, which sounded amazing: without so many loud things going on like I’m sure they normally do during an Everything Everything show, this night their voices were centre stage, gorgeously harmonious with one another’s. Before they played ‘Leave the Engine Room’, bassist Jeremy Pritchard admitted, “we’ve never attempted this one before, in this context, so this is as exciting for us as it is for you.” Laughter. They weren’t sure whether it’d work or not? No worries: it did, beautifully. My favourite though (even without the trademark whistling) was their reworking of ‘Schoolin’, which you can watch below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDcGGNiEkhE[/youtube]

Despite the promise that there would be an interval after I am Kloot, people jumped up out of their seats while the stage was being set up for the second set. (Alcohol and swiftly smoked cigarettes, I guess.) Then I am Kloot’s John Bramwell came on stage, complaining to himself that he’d forgotten his beer crate, evidently his usual ‘chair’ during gigs. He instead used a short step directly in front Mister Joiner and myself and got situated to begin a solo performance of ‘No Fear of Falling’. Very nice indeed. The show then took a turn to a more intimate one, as Bramwell was telling us stories in between the songs like a folk minstrel, making me feel more at home surrounded by native Mancunians. Enjoy the band’s versions of ‘I Still Do’ and ‘Northern Skies’ below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQINMLW3DNk[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9s8nBdUbT4[/youtube]

After the actual food and drink interval, it was time for Badly Drawn Boy. I’d been warned by friends that Damon Gough was notoriously bad tempered and drunk at gigs, and there was a bit of a hubbub about him requesting another Jack and Coke even though the one he had in his hand was still nearly full (figure that one out), but I guess playing a charity benefit for the little girl of a close mate softened the man. One thing that was slightly annoying: Gough had wires hooked up to his guitar so he could tape himself playing certain passages and then would play them back to himself, and when he did this, he seemed so impressed with himself. A little weird when a crowd is watching you do this? Dunno. Maybe I’m just being critical…

Most Americans know him as the guy behind the ‘About a Boy’ song, so I thought it was interesting that he would play a song from a forthcoming film that he was invited to write something for. Called ‘I Keep the Things You Throw Away’, Gough insisted that it was for a “Bob DeNiro” film. You can hear it here first before everyone else. Other highlights included a tender version of ‘Magic in the Air’, from where the charity night got its name and Gough seemed emotional talking about Billie’s predicament; ‘The Shining’, which the audience got after shouting it at him all night; and the ending song, which I thought was strangely appropriate: a cover of the Stone Roses’ ‘I Wanna Be Adored’. All in all, a really superb night of music for a community coming together to show their support for one of their own.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAfN7OTLVCA[/youtube]

After the cut: more photos and set list.

Continue reading Live Review: ‘Magic in the Air’ Billie Butterfly charity show at Manchester Comedy Store – 28th November 2011

 

Review: Mercury Prize 2010

 
By on Tuesday, 7th September 2010 at 10:25 pm
 

When Lauren Laverne revealed the 2010 Barclaycard Mercury Prize nominees in July, I was truly shocked by the lack of true ‘pop’ and the abundance of folk albums given a nod. Despite that, I was pretty happy to see several of the nominees up for the award in 2010 were we’ve featured here on TGTF. Just in case you haven’t heard, the winner of the Mercury Prize receives a hefty £20,000 prize.

Surprisingly (or not?) the Modfather himself Paul Weller and his 10th solo album ‘Wake Up the Nation’ made a late dash in the betting over the weekend before the awards. Rather unsurprisingly, the xx and their debut album ‘xx’, one of the heavy favourites to win from the get-go, continued to be heavily favoured.

Unlike last year, BBC Music News decided to go with a (possibly) clairvoyant rabbit named Matilda to do some prognostication before the big unveiling. This was no doubt in response to the winning reaction to Paul the psychic octopus living in a German aquarium who was 100% accurate in guessing all the winners for every match in the 2010 World Cup. Hours before the winner was announced, Matilda sniffed around the food bowl placed in front of Biffy Clyro‘s image but finally settled on Mumford and Sons. (Evidently, the BBC rabbit isn’t as good as the predictopus.)

Congratulations to the xx who won this year’s prize!

In case you missed them earlier, read Mary Beth’s earlier post for the 2010 nominees.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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