Interview: John Bramwell
John Bramwell is the song-writing genius behind I Am Kloot. He’s been playing more informal shows of late, just turning up and playing without a set list, and singing the songs he feels like on the night. If the audience ask for a favourite song, he’ll play it. Mark Perkins is a long-time fan, and has had his ticket for months! So he positively jumped at the chance to chat with John ahead of the Greystones show on Sunday 18th October.
JB: Over the years I’ve played some shows as I Am Kloot, with Pete and Andy and even with some great guest musicians in the past, but I felt it was time to just do some stuff where I just turned up and played what felt was right for the venue where I was. I played the Greystones last year and loved the intimacy of the place, so I’m back for more. I’ve even asked people though the website to ask for what they want to hear at individual gigs.
Over the years I have written a collection of music and songs that are just voice, guitar and synthesiser, classical guitar too, as I learned to play in classical guitar from the age of 8. I’ve just built up such an amount of it, that now I’m not in a publishing deal or a record deal I can just go out and play stuff that’s suited to intimate venues.
With me its the gig that matters, and small venues come alive when they’re packed. Who really wants to see a gig in a black empty space such as Manchester Academy? When I play small venues, I’ve always got the option, if it sells out, of just playing another night. So what if I have to play more gigs? That’s what I love doing. The gigs have always been more enjoyable than the recording process.
Is there some new material we might get to hear too?
JB: Yeah, I’ve written a few new songs that are coming out soon on an EP, ‘Leave Alone the Empty Spaces’, and I’ve recorded them using an old tape thing and these two great microphones. The effects are just the sounds of the room I record them in: the garage, the living room, the kitchen, whatever. It’s a bit like when we [I am Kloot] recorded our first album ‘Natural History’. We often left the little accidents in, which gave the entire album an atmosphere all of its own. They were all live takes, so things stayed in, we had no choice. I’m really looking forward to coming back to the Greystones for a gig where it’s just me and the audience. When I’m on my own I can play the songs in any order I want, I can chat with the audience, tell a few stories, the night is so alive, and can often be really hilarious.
If you want to know more, and to download some free mp3s of John’s songs, have a look at www.johnbramwell.com. See you there on Sunday!