Monday 3 July 2023

John Bramwell / Harriet Bradshaw - Manchester The Yard - 2nd July 2023

Sunday afternoon saw three of John Bramwell's Full Harmonic Convergence perform an intimate set of songs from their forthcoming album as well as selected cuts from John's debut solo album and his I Am Kloot back catalogue to an attentive appreciative audience at The Yard in Cheetham Hill in Manchester interspersed with John's stories of life and experiences in the music business.

Harriet Bradshaw opens up the afternoon with a solo set of tracks taken from her self-titled debut album performed on acoustic guitar and keyboard. She's introduced by John who waxes lyrical about the influence she's had on his music in his introduction and later at points in the main set. Her songs are intensely personal in parts - Yourself And Nobody Else and the final song What That Makes Me have personal references - and based around poetry in others - Your is based on a Silvia Plath poem whils Stone Cold is around one of her own. They're simple in construction but they hold the audience's attention, Harriet's voice playing a big part in this because of the emotional connection the songs make so we're treated to the rare experience of a support act not being drowned out by chatter but actually being listened to. That and the queue at the end of her set to buy her album are testament to the quality of the set. 

John Bramwell is on fine form, both musically and between songs where he regales us with stories on subjects as broad as meeting foreign princesses, playing shows with his flies undone and saving one of two badgers from a canal with a foldable chair as well as the inspiration for many of the songs he plays. Accompanied by Dave Fidler on bass and guitar and Harriet Bradshaw on cello, he introduces songs from the John Bramwell And The Full Harmonic Convergence album that he reveals will be out in February (2024, we assume) which he's been playing with the band for a few years ago as the recording and release process has been stretched out. 

The new songs which make up most of the first half of the set stand up against anything John has ever written and come alive with two of the musicians they were recorded with on stage with him. Lyrically they still possess the darkness of his earlier works but there's a real sense that he's enjoying the experience of playing them these days rather than reliving them whilst up on stage. He tells us that Leave No Traces will be released shortly, somehow via the internet, as the first track from the record. However, it's Nobody Left But You which starts as spoken word over guitar and cello is very different to anything he's ever released before as is the sprightly It's Just You (Stepping Stones).  There's even time for a brand new song Before The Lights Went Out, a delicate beautifully tender and intimate acoustic number.

In addition there's three songs from his solo debut - Meet Me At The Station (complete with story about how his dog Henry wrote the song for him), Who Is Anybody Anyway and Time's Arrow. The audience listen attentively to these and the new songs, there's none of the usual new song chatter that even the biggest artists suffer from these days.

They do know that they'll get the moment where they might hear their favourites and there's plenty of old I Am Kloot classics to whet the appetite so if a personal favourite isn't played there'll be something for everyone. Early songs like 86 TVs, Storm Warning, Astray and The Same Deep Water As Me sit alongside Mouth On Me and Bullets from their more commercially successful latter years - and the songs that have extra guitar and cello are given a different slant that makes them even more intriguing. The show finishes with a communal singalong of what are probably Kloot's two best known songs - Northern Skies and Proof - which bring a smile to John and everyone's faces before they head off into the evening.

John Bramwell's website can be found here.  He is also on Twitter and Facebook.

They played Sky Full Of Thunder And Lightning, It's Just You (Stepping Stones), I Am The Sky, Nobody Left But You, Who Is Anybody Anyway, The Light Fantastic, 86 TVs, Days Go By, Before The Lights Went Out, Meet Me At The Station, To The Brink, The Same Deep Water As Me, Astray, Mouth On Me, Higher, Time's Arrow, Bullets, Storm Warning, Leave No Traces, Northern Skies and Proof.

Unofficial updates are also available at @iamklootclub on Twitter. 

Harriet Bradshaw's website can be found here and she is on Facebook and Twitter. The album is available on her Bandcamp on digital, CD and vinyl.

Follow Even The Stars on Twitter at @eventhestarsuk and like our Facebook page for all the latest updates

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