Jon Windle & The Last Party: Ruby Lounge, Manchester

Arriving late didn’t get to see the first artists,  but Second up for the evening’s entertainment were local band let’s party. One thing that is certainly not lacking from the lead singer, Liam Manton, of this band is confidence, “Oi youse lot at the bar get over here and party, we’re The Last Party” was his opening gambit, showing that he shares not only the hair and name but also the attitude of Liam from Manchester’s most famous band. This band play guitar indie with strange little keyboard doodles in the background, which seems to take the edge off the overall intensity of the music. There were however, a small hardcore following who threw themselves into the party vibe.

On to the main act; former Little Man Tate lead singer, Jon Windle, a man that knows his way around a catchy song. Entering the stage to James’ Destiny Calling, it was an uplifting song to give way to an even more uplifting evening.  The audience was a real mix, but one and all were united in their devotion to Windle, a rousing reception awaited and this feverish atmosphere was maintained right throughout the set. With several stage invasions which at times teetered on the edge of disaster, just like LMT’s glory days.

No words, no introductions, straight into the thunderous pulsating opener Love her like a woman. Next up was Sober Minds, given a harder edge live than on the album, an ironic song given that Jon and his band had spent the day in Manchester’s finest hostelries, there were many tired and bleary eyes on stage, but the energy levels didn’t drop nor their enthusiasm and enjoyment. Title track from his last album, ‘Step out the man’ again had the crowd in a frenzy, bounding along with a more than a hint to these ears of Showaddywaddy. To close the main set Jon chose to end with LMT favourite, ‘House Party At Bootheys’  resulting in even more people on stage than in the audience.

Being the honest chap he is, Jon let the crowd know there would be an encore before he left the stage, he wouldn’t have been allowed to leave the building without one. He returned alone with just his acoustic guitar to give a fine rendition of You n Me. The band then joined him for a full throttle, One for The Weekend, which was reminiscent of Green Day. The final track was A Winters love affair, which resulted in yet more on stage chaos as he was again joined by members of the crowd to act as backing dancers and even take over vocal duties. Rarely will a gig take place where every member of the crowd sings every word of every song throughout a set, tonight was one of those nights. A truly devoted crowd enjoying every minute of their evening,

All in all a fantastic evening, plenty of first solo album material, a couple of tasters of his soon to be recorded second album and the odd Little Man Tate classic thrown in, ensuring that everybody left happy, and believe me, everybody did leave happy.