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Interview by Tony Naylor.  NME 22nd April 2000.

I AM KLOOT
Featuring John Bramwell (vocals/guitar), Andy Hargreaves (drums) and Peter Jobson (bass).

WHAT'S THE FREQUENCY? Quiet, compelling, semi-acoustic songs, given real drama and zip by a subtly elastic rhythm-section.  John, meanwhile, sneering like Lennon, then sweet as McCartney, dispenses couplets to treasure.
"Less is more" nods Andy.
"I never wanted to be in a band where you had to tap your foot and count bars - fuck all that," says Peter, "I'd forget".

Comparisons (from Badly Drawn Boy to The Smiths) are endless and wide of the mark.  They are, simply, I Am Kloot.

THE STRUGGLE SO FAR: Manchester, late-80's.  Johnny Dangerously, this slight, scruffy kid (who's just back from eight months living in a caravan in North Wales) is trashing preconceptions about 'singer-songwriters'.  He's punk, he's got spunk, he supports the Happy Mondays!  A bruised, brilliant mini-album, "You, Me & The Alarm Clock" (Village), surfaces at the height of Madchester "You can imagine how many I sold."

Athens, early-90's.  John's out there with a girl.  He busks by day.  They fall apart, horribly.  He returns to Manchester with the bones of a forthcoming single, 'Twist'.  It's as desperate and intense as you might imagine.

Nineteen-ninety-nine, I Am Kloot release 'To You'.  Critics swoon.  While feeling compelled to point out just how crap their name is.  "It's just a matter of people catching up with us," laughs John.  "In two years time, everyone will be called I Am this or that..."

JUSTIFY OUR LOVE: Darkly humorous, restless and romantic, as a lyricist John is as sharp as Morrissey or Elvis Costello.  He refuses, however, to obsess over his words.  "It's the sound that's the real truth of us, the words are the confusion.  All words are mask.  Some are intriguing, and you can think about the songs if you want to, but it's not what things mean, it's how they make you feel."

GET AWAY! In the mid-90s, John presented Granada's late-night yoof TV show, Juice: "I compromised myself, and was around something I really didn't like.  But, I had always been skint, and the money was really good."

Soon after, John and Juice co-presenter Tara Newley (daughter of Anthony Newley and Joan Collins) become an item.  Suddenly, John Bramwell, from Hyde, was driving Joan Collins around London in his clapped out mini and being trailed on holiday by tabloid paparazzi.  Weird times, all told.

"I wasn't drug addicted but, certainly, that's the first time I've ever had any money, so what do you do?"

You lose the plot.

"The terrible consequences and the beauty of it all will be on the album" John promises.

WHAT NEXT? Vindication, as IAK take Britain by stealth.  "You don't need volume for edge," declares John, emphatically.  "We could change people's lives with three decibels."
(Tony Naylor).
 

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