EDitorial ± 24-Jun-2012

John Bramwell, Ipswich Spiegeltent

Choice is either to hunker down on the official Euro 2012 chair for the England-Italy quarter final, kick-off 7:45pm, or to head to Christchurch Park for an obscure Ip-art gig, kick-off 8pm. I'll forego the potential pain of the former for the potential pleasure of the latter.

Venue is the Spiegeltent, a colourful construction lifted straight from a turn of the century carnival. Wooden floor, tables, mirrors, lights. Rather lovely. As is the voice of one Ethan Ash, gamely on support and doing his darnedest to interact with the somewhat reluctant audience. Nice chap and thanks for the jelly babies.

Headlining tonight is John Bramwell from I Am Kloot. Who? Kloot have been going for a good ten years and probably came closest to hitting the big time when their Sky At Night album was in the 2010 Mercury list. I like to think I know my stuff and I only really know of them via Guy Garvey's 6 Music show. Not even the full three-piece lineup tonight, just Mr Bramwell, the front man. Sometimes one plus guitar is all you need.

Upfront, he manages to persuade the small crowd to gather round instead of hugging the walls, and he's off with that voice, which is something to hear and cherish. He does I Still Do off the last album and it's a thing of beauty. This one's about love ... and disaster, he says, introducing the next number while swigging his pint. He's relaxed, we're relaxed. Convivial is the word.

Feels like there's a handful of hardcore fans here but mostly curious lookers-on, and it isn't long before he's won us over. I've been in Ipswich 3-4 hours so far, he says, and I'm loving it. I plan to be in Ipswich possibly another 3-4 hours. He's like your slightly dissolute art teacher from secondary school. There's an unscheduled intermission when he decides he needs another drink, and it's another 10 minutes before he returns with a Red Bull and vodka. Gods And Monsters is immense. Tonight's been an absolute pleasure, he announces. Agreed.