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Gods or Monsters? Maybe neither ...

I Am Kloot 24/4/05 Manchester Ritz


Having just released their new album 'Gods and Monsters', I Am Kloot (featuring Pete Jobson, John Bramwell & Andy Hargreaves) return to their home town of Manchester for a near sold out performance at the Ritz Club. Not having heard much of I Am Kloot before I'm quite surprised at the density of the crowd & the mix of ages in attendance, I'm quite excited at the prospect of hearing some mind-blowing new music!


The stage lights come up & the intro music begins, a rather rousing & heavy choral piece (bit like the Old Spice advert!) & we're all set. The band come on to loud applause & go straight into the first number, it's at this point that I start to worry, after such a rousing intro they follow it with a slow & rather dull number that's totally out of keeping with the build up. Still, it's early days & things can only get better right? Hmm.


It depends where you stand but in certain places the sound is a bit poor, the speakers buzz horribly at certain bass frequencies & this doesn't help the overall impression. If you've never heard them before you can expect mid-paced & mainly acoustic indie ramblings. It's not that the songs are bad but they just don't seem to go anywhere much of the time, even the more upbeat songs seem to end just as they get going. Thankfully though there are a couple of faster songs that encourage more audience participation with singalong choruses, this is mainly restricted to the crowd right in the middle of the venue, those on the periphery seem content to stand inanimate (there's not even any head nodding!) or to talk through most of it.


The set tonight seems heavily laden with newer songs & perhaps that prevents some of the crowd from really getting into it, they do however make up for it when the older 'classics' are aired.


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After 45 minutes I'm really struggling to see what all the fuss is about, things do pick up a little with the electric led songs which do have some more interesting moments, but unfortunately these are in the minority.


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Click for large image

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The bass player sits down for the most of the set & the singer/guitarist does little but stand before his microphone, coupled with the relaxed laid back nature of the songs this does nothing to win over the impartial observer.


There is no encore tonight & I can't say I'm sorry, the main part of the crowd seems satisfied though. Apparently they've already booked a date at the slightly bigger Manchester Academy in October & on the evidence of tonight's crowd I'd expect them to fill it, I for one though will not be in attendance.


To view all photos taken during this set click here. There are 20 available.