in the bar trying to escape the irrelevant noise of Stereo MC's I bump
into Johnny, lead singer from IAK. The last couple of times we met he
was curled up in a nicotine cloud trying to fight off the cheesy feeling
of being in a tour van for the last couple of months. Today he is refreshed
and more talkative than ever before and we discuss his band...
Johnny: "I can't f****** understand it, we've just come
back from a European tour, pulling 10,000 people on the average night
in places like Rome and Scandinavia and then we get home and we gotta
start all over again, as if 2 years of touring the UK never happened.
We get overlooked at every corner here by the radio and press (Radio
1 played them a measly 3 times last year) but we've got a massive fan
base here and have just signed with Echo (I saw their sell out show
at the London Scala which was, looking back, a showcase of sorts). The
downside of this is that no-one is promoting our debut album (which
is magnificent!), because we left our last label Wall of Sound."
AD: "How come?"
Johnny: "3 years of touring has wiped us clean out of money...,I
mean it, we'd get home after a tour and couldn't afford a loaf of bread
or a cup of tea. The record sold ok and the touring just about broke
I think the music media here want to lump every band into a mould or
trend and if they don't fit, no one knows what to do with them, whereas
in Europe your just accepted as a British band and that's enough in
itself to pull."
Johnny will be the first to admit I Am Kloot aren't blessed
in the looks department but charisma is in no short supply; "You
think you're lovely, I know that you're wrong,
God made me ugly... so don't string me along"
Anyone who has seen them live will know that he will have charmed the
pants off the audience after the first track with his inter song backchat.
Maybe with a new label and a new album in the pipeline (produced by
Ian Brodie) and a growing reputation the fanfare will be welcoming I
Am Kloot home as one of the best original bands that broke the
I've heard on the grapevine that the Kloots will be supporting up and
coming band Suede for a U.K tour, life ain't so bad after all!
Commentary by, Naim Cortazzi