The big goodbye from Little Man Jon Windle

John Windle from Little Man Tate
John Windle from Little Man Tate

From Little Man Tate to his more recent solo efforts, Jon Windle is the kind of guy you’d call ‘a good thing’.

So its difficult to stomach news that he’s hanging up his best-selling guitar for good at the end of this year.

He will conclude a critically acclaimed and publicly lauded performing and recording career with a date at Sheffield City Hall Ballroom on Saturday.

While he will release no more albums, and isn’t planning on scheduling any shows, Tiny Teeth, the imprint he has established, continues to go from strength to strength.

It provides an outlet for artists from his Steel City hometown and beyond.

We caught up with Jon and put a few questions to him:

Q: Let’s start with the important stuff - any chance we can persuade you not to quit the stage and studio at the end of this month?

“Ha ha… I think the decision has been made this time. I’m not saying I won’t perform the odd acoustic set from time to time, but in terms of full band shows, releasing my own albums and so forth I’m ready to put a lid on it.”

Q: What has brought on the decision to call time now, given the positive response to both solo albums?

“I want my focus to be on Tiny Teeth, my label and promotions company. It sometimes feels a little like a conflict of interests doing my own solo thing and being part of Tiny Teeth.

“I’m really grateful to everyone for their support and being into my music but I’ve always had the idea of two albums then finishing. I don’t want to hang about and bore people.

It’s similar to ending Little Man Tate. We did two albums and decided it was good to bow out there.”

Q: We’re looking forward to Maz Marriot joining you on stage for some Little Man Tate action at the ballroom. Presumably you are too?

“Yeah he’s playing the whole set with me. I was without a guitarist for the last gig and we decided it would be great to invite Maz along to play as the set will be packed with Tate tracks.

“He’s had to learn my solo stuff which has been good fun but he really makes a difference. He’s one of the most talented people I know and I’m very lucky to have a friend like him.”

Q: Your label, Tiny Teeth Records, is going from strength to strength. Were your own experiences with labels a catalyst for setting this up?

“Yeah, It’s going really well thanks. I wanted us to be a label that can help the artists grow and try and see it from the musician’s point of view as well as it being a business.

Q: As one of Sheffield’s best-loved musical faces, which other local bands do you think we should be looking out for?

“Well thank you… There are some great bands around at the moment. I’m really enjoying Polkododge, who are supporting me at The City Hall. Another band I really like at the minute are Retrospectives – they’ve done some Tiny Teeth Presents shows for us and are really causing a stir.

“Then there’s also The Monday Club, whose EP we’ve just put out. Again they are building a big following. And some of the younger bands like The SSS and Sabella could have a really bright future. There really is some good stuff around at the moment and people need to keep checking out the live scene.”

Q: Once your live finale is over, what’s coming up in the future for the label?

“2014 is going to be a really big year for us. There are going to be more signings, more releases and more live shows with Tiny Teeth Presents and on top of all that we’ve got Tiny Teeth Publishing. Our aim is to be one of the best independent labels around. We’re really excited and looking forward to going full pelt in 2014.”

Q: Finally, what are your plans for Christmas?

“Well me and my wife Melissa have got two boys – Eli and Albi – who are two and one year olds, so we’re looking forward to a busy family Christmas. It’s the first time Elijah has really understood Christmas as he’s nearly three and it makes it really exciting again. I’m sure we’ll find plenty of time to party too. You’ve got to give the ball a good old kick at Christmas.”