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Klof Presents: 25 Years of Silver Jews' American Water (Secondhand Live Review)

Klof Presents: 25 Years of Silver Jews' American Water
Klof Presents: 25 Years of Silver Jews' American Water

This was initially planned to be a review of the Klof ensemble’s live tribute to the classic Silver Jews album American Water. Alas, plagued by an illness so terrible it left me coughing and spluttering and shitting my pants, I was not able to go to this gig. Unfortunately, it was something I was really looking forward to! I’ve been a big fan of Silver Jews for many years. I even have a silly little poster of the aforementioned album on my bedroom wall, like a bloody teenager! I’m a 26 year old man! I have a receding hairline! Grow up.

I was also looking forward to it because I’ve seen Klof do a similar thing before for another classic album, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel. It was an album I loved very much as a teenager, and in more recent years had been pushed to one side in my mind, a bit like Woody’s descent into hell in the Toy Story 2 nightmarish dream sequence (“I don’t wanna play with you anymore etc.). It reminded me of how much I loved the album and watching how happy it made everyone else was a lovely experience.

And then I got terminal man flu and so didn’t bother going to the gig as I was in my flat, miserable, eating a chippy and watching Goldfinger (not too miserable then, in fairness). Alas, I had already created the google doc titled ‘Klof Silver Jews Live Review’ under the assumption I would be attending, so I am going to review the gig anyway. I have seen a few Instagram stories of the event, I know the album well enough, I have seen a similar previous performance, I had people on the inside (attendees) and I also have a dossier given to me by MI6 with everyone in Klof’s personal details, voting history and parent’s home addresses, so I should be good to go.

Me at home while the gig was happening
Me at home while the gig was happening

Where to begin, what a gig! They all played the whole album in a circle in the middle of the Quarry dancefloor. This was a technique also used in the Neutral Milk Hotel show, so naturally I can insert myself anywhere within that crowd and imagine what it was like. They opened with the song Random Rules (I assume, I have no direct chronology of the night, however this is how the album begins, and I think it’s fair to assume they played the songs in order).

I think I saw a video where Alex was singing this? There’s a lyric in this song that says “I know that a lot of what I’ve said has been lifted off of men’s room’s walls”. The lyric is also written on the walls of the toilets in the venue Yes in Manchester. I assume it’s because the lyrics talk about toilets. No real connection otherwise. I reckon they killed it tbf. The atmosphere in Quarry was electric (translation: I saw videos of people cheering and clapping).

Not Klof but someone doing something similar
Not Klof but someone doing something similar

A few personal favourites of mine were Send In The Clouds, Blue Arrangements and Smith & Jones Forever. Other than the clips I saw, obviously I didn’t get to see these properly. From the sound of it though, they played the set very faithfully, and these are some of my favourite tracks on the album, so it makes sense I’d enjoy these the most. Aidan said they sounded really good when I asked him. He also said he was really drunk, which is cool, because he was on shift and it’s kind of awesome when the bartender is absolutely wasted.

All in all, what a great evening! I assume. I know I would’ve enjoyed it. Everyone who went did. What else is there to say, really? I mean, thinking about it, I don’t really have to go to any gigs at all from now on. Reviewing like this is fine, even when I feel better. I can just sit in my underpants and write this and get drunk on my own in my flat and watch people do challenge runs of Elden Ring and eat chips. I’ll probably just go to gigs anyway though because they are quite good and I can still do all the things I mentioned but a bit less.

Did you have a favourite moment from the evening? If so, please, tell Aidan on the bar a lengthy story about your own personal take on the evening. If you describe it really well, he might tell you about his secret pairs of lips that he’s grown on his back (I water them every day). If you kiss them, you decrease in age by ten.

Klof will be hosting a gig at the Garlic Mansion featuring All Maudra, Sara Wolff and The New Eves on Thursday 23rd November.

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