I Am Kloot - Hold Back The Night
It is inevitable I suppose that a live album will omit at least one of your favorite songs. But that 'Still Do' from their first, and possibly greatest, album, 2001's Natural History, is missing from the track list hurts. Especially as there seem to be far too many songs from the last two, and much weaker, albums, 2010's The Sky At Night and 2013's Let It All In. Nonetheless, Hold Back The Night, the super-duper deluxe live album from Mancunian treasures I Am Kloot does indeed demonstrate just why these three scruffy individuals are still around after 16 years of being shuffled from one indifferent label to another, all the while managing to release a string of fine albums showcasing John Bramwell's dry sardonic wit and Shakespearian turns of phrase. They're the kind of songs that make grown men cry into their pints of beer.
Recorded during the band's 2013 winter tour, the sound is far more polished than previous tours (there are backing vocalists and a fuller sound). Fortunately it doesn't detract too much from the songs themselves and Bramwell's earnest vocals. '86 TV's' (Natural History), 'One Man Brawl' from 2007's fabulous Moulah Rouge, the gorgeous 'From Your Favourite Sky' and of course the classic 'Proof' both from from their 2003 self-titled album, are just a few of the gems you'll find. However, it does feel like a photo album, a bit cold and impersonal with little of Bramwell's dark sense of humour and friendly banter with the crowd. Having recently seen them live in their beloved hometown, Hold Back The Night does little to convey the camaraderie, the joy, the fun. If you really want to know what a Kloot show is like then get thee to one of their shows instead.