ONE thing former Little Man Tate man Jon Windle has learned this past year on the road is to appreciate what his old manager went through.
“We were spoilt and at the time didn’t really appreciate how good it was and how privileged we were to be in that position, but we were young lads in a band,” he says.
“I didn’t realise how much work went into doing stuff and how hard people must have worked managing LMT at the level.
“I was 23 when we got signed. We got to America and Japan, all over the UK. Now I kind of like the fact we’re all lumped in a van and building it again. Some of my favourite times with Tate were that build process, when you could feel it happening.”
Jon announced his solo arrival a year ago with his album Step Out The Man, but not everyone followed him into lonesome waters, it seems. When the mail out was sent to the LMT fanbase, a few wanted out.
“Quite a few, actually,” says Jon. “Out of 30,000 names about 300 wanted taking off. I presume they must have liked Maz.”
Maz being the guitarist with Jon’s former indie chart-botherers – who joined Jon on stage for his Plug show a year ago.
Now a married man and a dad, Jon returns to Matilda Street on Saturday airing old and new songs bound for a second album, after a year of consolidation and finding fresh ears.
“A lot this year has been me going out with acoustic guitar to places like Bathgate and Tunbridge Wells. And I’m picking up fans.
“Sometimes when people looked at LMT it was just four lads in a band. It is more mature what I’m doing now – but you don’t really mature too much between 26 and 29.
“Next year is going to be a little bit more ‘this is Jon Windle solo artist’ rather than ‘Jon from Tate’, though.
“I’ve learned to not be as obvious. In Tate it would be ‘This is about the time these two lesbians got it on’. Now it’s about making it a bit more subtle.”
Saturday is the final gig of the year ahead of new singles in early 2012 followed by a summer album release.
“We’re putting a proper marketing budget behind it with pluggers and PR, still through my Tiny Teeth label,” adds Jon who threatens a direction change.
“It’s really kind of 1950s-60s, a B-52s vibe in the backing vocals. I’ve always been into that music. It’s a modern album, but we’ve tried to use sounds, guitar sounds and riff and backing vocals that have got an ear on that era. There’s a lot of doo-wopping.”