John Bramwell, I Am Kloot

John is like a kid in a sweet shop when we meet at the Gibson Guitar Studio, itching to play some strings and talk music

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 8 Feb 2013
  • min read
John B
ramwell (middle) is like a child in a sweet shop when we meet at the Gibson Guitar Studios in Central London. There must be more than 200 instruments hanging from the walls in this quiet oasis a stone’s throw from the bustle of Oxford Street – and John has a go on most of them.

The songwriter, singer and guitarist with I Am Kloot finally settles on a dreadnought-style electro-acoustic to play for us. There’s no vocal warm-up, no practice take, no indecision over what to sing, he just dives right in.

He’s brimming with enthusiasm and excited to show us his new songs. And why not? More than a decade in the business has earned the band a Mercury nomination and an ardent fan base, stretching out from their hometown of Manchester as far afield as Singapore, Japan and Australia.

And with every album, the adoration grows. The trio’s latest long player Let it All In looks set to win them an even wider audience, having received plaudits from the broadsheets, BBC 6 Music and more.

The 10-track set is a lean collection of pop gems that swings from the brooding lyrics and plaintive truths on Bullets or Mouth on Me to the bolder melodies of Hold Back the Night and These Days are Mine. You can watch John play a stripped back version of album track Masquerade here.

After John’s played us a selection of songs, we sit down to chat about musical escapism and the recurring themes in his lyrics. He explains why learning guitar was his secret weapon as a child and admits that he was convinced The Beatles was a magical kingdom he might be able to visit if he got good enough on guitar…