A lot can happen in 18 months, especially in the fabulously fickle world of music. Britney Spears can transmogrify from wholesome pop princess to twice wed white-trash. Jennifer Lopez can get married. Twice (can you see a pattern emerging here?). But in the year and a half since indie band I Am Kloot released their last album, the British music scene has spawned many a new northern guitar band. So thankfully, the Mancunian martyrs of all things broken and purveyors of gritty yet melodic British indie are back and kicking off 2005 with a new album, supported by a new tour to join the British Invasion Mark II.
â€œWe have got our work cut out for us over the next few months, but itâ€™s excitingâ€ declares I Am Klootâ€™s human metronome Andy Hargreaves. â€œThe tickets are selling faster than any of our other tours. Iâ€™m really looking forward to playing Manchester.â€ The Kloot will be playing in their home town at the Ritz on April 24th as well as thirteen other dates around the UK to support their new CD-shaped baby. And the Manchester venue holds special memories for the cheerful and thoroughly accommodating Hargreaves: â€œWe used to have an Indie night there a few years ago and weâ€™ve got a couple of mates supporting us, so itâ€™s a very special place.â€
Hargreaves says that the new LP, 'Gods And Monsters' is faithful to the stripped-down stylised sound of their previous two albums but has a few special, if not unusual, touches. â€œWe used a Wurlitzer organ, from an old peoples home on a few of the tracks. Itâ€™s a nice old instrument that we found it up in the studio and we had a bit of a play with it.â€ Hargreaves proclaims that this album has a â€œharder, tougher soundâ€ that has probably come from â€œexperienced confidenceâ€. He is sure that it is different and more mature than their eponymous second release: â€œWe recorded the whole album in a week and our mate Joe Robinson produced it so it was pretty swift. He let us be creative and he made us enjoy what we were doingâ€. As with their previous work, front man John Bramwell has written the main body of the album with Andy and bassist Pete Jobson enjoyably playing with knobs and sounds instead of just â€œbanging the drums at the backâ€.
The first single from the album will be 'Over My Shoulder', and as a self-confessed "albumâ€™s band" that donâ€™t shamelessly chase Top 40 positions, Hargreaves admits that the process of selecting a lead single difficult. The three-piece see their work as an entire unit and â€œleave it to the ultimate wisdom of the record company to pickâ€œ. He adds: â€œWe arenâ€™t that well known so we want people to make their minds up by listening to the rest of the record. I find it a bit strange trying to pull a single from our work, 'Over My Shoulder' isnâ€™t really an indication of what the whole album sounds like. The centrepiece track, which isnâ€™t necessarily the best, is probably â€˜Avenue of Hope'.
The April tour is preceded by a two week tour of the US where they will be popping their American cherry to Yankee doodle-dandy audiences in West Virginia, New York, L.A. and Austin, Texas. The Kloot will later be playing their third Glastonbury in June on the Saturday in the Acoustic Tent at 3pm, leaving them plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the festival. Not that Andy is too impressed with the Sunday Pyramid Stage headliner. â€œKylie Minogue? Is that true?â€. We can assume heâ€™s not a fan. â€œThatâ€™s a bit of a downer. I reckon thatâ€™ll make people go home early!â€