Klone Mesmerise With Enchanting Unplugged Set At SWX Bristol

While Riverside left us holding our breath at times, such was the musicianship on display, Klone would deliver a mesmerising set in support at Bristol SWX.

Klone

SWX, Bristol – 20 May 2024

Words And Photography: Paul Hutchings

It’s been a while since I’ve crossed paths with the sounds of Klone, the band which formed over two decades ago in Poitiers, France. My first meeting with them wasn’t particularly enamouring, 12 years ago as support to another French band called Gojira in a 300 crowd in Cardiff. 

I dismissed them at the time, but a further viewing when they supported Orphaned Land a few years later resparked the interest. 

Klone - SWX, Bristol - 20 May 2024
Klone – SWX, Bristol – 20 May 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Whilst the band’s usual sound comprises sweeping, often cinematic soundscapes, tonight the band are playing ‘unplugged’. It’s a simple set up, four chairs, a couple of microphones and a drumkit. The band enters with a relaxed air. They are confident enough to do this. 

With acoustic guitars and semi-acoustic bass in place, they start with Sealed, and the crowd hushes. It’s a captivating set, spread across a very generous hour. 

Lit mainly by swirling back lights, Klone is well suited to this setting. Although I prefer them when they can really cut loose, it’s to their credit and class that they hold the crowd throughout. 

Klone - SWX, Bristol - 20 May 2024
Klone – SWX, Bristol – 20 May 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

They draw from their catalogue, playing a single song (Bystander) from 2023’s Meanwhile, but take more from Here Comes the Sun and Le Grand Voyage. Whilst their songs can merge a little in this setting, there is enough about this band to ensure that each track is defined appropriately. 

Singer Yann Ligner’s vocals are impressive, drenched with emotion and carrying the meanings with a definitive delivery. Songs like Gone Up In Flames and Bystander work perfectly, and there’s even some humour as the band takes an age to start one song. Not sure if it’s deliberate, but they take an age procrastinating about the start. It’s all met with good-humoured laughter.

Klone - SWX, Bristol - 20 May 2024
Klone – SWX, Bristol – 20 May 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

The controlled and intricate percussion of Romain Berće that also takes the eye and ear, as he occasionally explodes into life. This comes to the fore on the dramatic cover of Black Hole Sun, which is beautifully delivered, before Yonder brings their mesmerising set to conclusion. 

When I saw the poster for this tour, my eyebrows raised at this billing. I take it back, for it worked superbly.

Klone - SWX, Bristol - 20 May 2024
Klone – SWX, Bristol – 20 May 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
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