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Thursday, 1 December 2011

Jon Windle - Jollys Sports Bar - 25/11/11 (Kilmarnock)

Fashion trends are pretty crap aren't they?
Especially the trends in music.
Every few months bands are thrown into the public eye and garner some short lived plaudits before slipping back into obscurity to allow space for the next big thing to squeeze in for their fifteen minutes of fame.
None of it has much to do with talent really.
It's just more consumerist bollocks.
Create and sell, create and sell.
What's the difference between the next i-phone being foisted on the public and the next band?
No. That's not the intro to a joke. It's a rhetorical question.
The answer is nothing, but the real downside of this disposable aspect is that individuals with real talent get partially tossed aside.
They languish in the shadows that the spotlight doesn't reach regardless of their talents.
Jon Windle is a good example of that happening.
He had his moment in the sun with Little Man Tate and then after a couple of great albums that was that.
He didn't lose his touch, his voice or his sense of humour.
It was just that their moment was past and the NME and the like moved on.
It's at this point that bands could be forgiven for simply throwing in the towel as disillusionment took its toll.
Or in Jon's case you can take some time out and then come back with an album that is just as strong, if not stronger, than you have previously done and start from scratch.
It takes some balls to do that, and Jon isn't shy in displaying his as here he was in my local pub playing to those loyal fans who hadn't forgotten him, and what would be converts after the last note had rung out.
Along with Emily Ireland he runs through his blasts from the not too distant past bolstered by material from 'Step Out The Man' and even though this is an acoustic set everything rattles along at a fair clip.
The songs sound solid enough even without a full band backing him and the accompanying vocals from Emily work wonders in the small room.
It's all pretty magical and there's a great deal of love and respect emanating from the small, but loyal, group of fans who have turned up to see him play.
I personally never seen Little Man Tate when they first came around, but from watching Jon I've decided I was a bit of a mug to pass up on the chance.
He's still in fine voice and every inch the performer.
This is not a man from yesteryear on a downward slide, but instead a hungry artist rising from the ashes to take a very credible second bite at an ongoing career in music.
If this is the signs of new foundations being laid then the future is looking bright.
As the gig progresses the fans at the front keep passing Jon and Emily drinks and the lubrication loosens things up to the point that the proceedings become less a gig and more of a party amongst friends.
It's very obvious that the stage of easy familiarity has been reached when he hits some technical issues with his guitar losing sound completely only to find that the crowd are more than happy to carry the gig on with a rousing sing along that would have to be lodged away as one of those 'you had to be there' moments.
Once a borrowed guitar is found it's all systems go and for a few minutes I went and touted his new album about to some success.
You can tell when an artist has connected with a crowd when you don't have to twist their arm to put their hands in their pockets.
Once he finishes everyone wants to chat and get some stuff signed and Jon was more than happy to do that.
I got the impression that he had enjoyed himself just as much as we had, and that was confirmed when as he passed David Hanvey (the promoter) he immediately asked if he would have him back.
Of course we would, but I have a sneaky feeling that in a years time Jon wont be playing venues the size of Jollys any more, but maybe he would for old times sake as he seem to be that sort of guy.
Definitely one of the highlights of my year, and there has been some stiff competition.


  1. Amazing! This just gave me goosebumps waiting for the Leeds gig. Got the pleasure of seeing LMT play a good few times and everytime was a night of enjoyment and passion! Especially at the last ever gig which was more emotional than any breakup ive had! Very talented, down to earth man! Xxx

  2. If there's any justice Jon will have a long career ahead of him as an album artists.
    There will be an interview at some point in the future with him on the blog to.