Friday, 15 February 2013

I Am Kloot, Leeds Irish Centre

I Am Kloot - Let It All In

The Irish Centre has long been an established live music venue in Leeds, and does ok in attracting some big names, especially when you consider the city also boasts two universities an O2 Academy and the marvellous Brudenell Social Club. Down the years, I have seen a number of bands there and have great memories of dancing like a funky chicken to the 'baggy' sound of Northside and looking on aghast as my drunk and lairy brother cadged a light from Richard Ashcroft during an Oasis gig and asked him what he was going to do now the Gallagher's had stolen his thunder. Indeed, in an interview with Q magazine a number of years later, Ashcroft claimed that this little exchange inspired him to go away and write Urban Hymns. I have never forgiven my brother for this.

However, while the Irish Centre holds a lot of great memories for me, I have never really warmed to it as a live music venue. The split-level room (standing area/dancefloor in front of the stage and seats and tables at the back) is set up more for a 'chicken-in-a-basket' bingo night than it is for live music, and while the sizeable stage and decent PA system tick the right boxes, the wide room and tall ceilings don't help to create an 'atmosphere' that audience and bands thrive on. This is a point picked up by Kloot frontman, John Bramwell, who teases those in attendance tonight for being a tad polite. Indeed, it is not until the back end of the band's set where the crowd start to get a little animated and provide hearty backing vocals on set closers Proof and Radiation.

The venue and the sedate crowd, however, don't appear to bother the band in the slightest. With a new album under their belt, the band look as if they're ready to shake off the shackles of the studio and have some fun. Of the new songs, a graceful Shoeless and a majestic Hold Back the Night are standouts, while Twist and the aforementioned Proof help to shake up the lifeless Leeds crowd. While a touching embrace between Bramwell and guitarist, Tom Knott, following the latter's spellbinding solo on Bullets helps to warm the heart on a cold and bitter evening. The Revolver-esque These Days Are Mine brings proceedings to a close, the band bid us farewell, and we make our way through the Irish Centre's corridors adorned with posters promoting karaoke and quiz nights and out into the night, and for this reviewer at least,  wishing we'd bought tickets for Manchester instead.

No comments:

Post a Comment