Jon Fratelli flies solo for Granite City fans
FORMER Fratellis singer Jon Fratelli may have gone solo – but he has refused to cut all ties with the past. His new band boasts former Fratellis high energy drummer Mince. The remainder of the musicians helping out Jon, who plays The Tunnels on Saturday, are from his recent outfit Codeine Velvet Club. Jon, who is playing Aberdeen to promote new release The Magic Hour, said: “I am lucky to still be playing with these people. I like that there is a thread with Mince and the Codeine band. “Mince never got enough credit as a drummer as he is a superb musician. “It leaves a warm glow knowing I can play with these people. The gigs will show it’s a spectacular band. “We also play live with two drummers which is very exciting. “Maybe that is us biting off more than we can chew but when it works, the sound is absolutely amazing.” The last few years have been one of unrest for the singer. At the height of the Fratellis’ fame, the band split, with Jon walking away to form Codeine Velvet Club. A radical departure, their sound was lounge lizard smooth, but they in turn split. “Hopefully I will stick at this for a long time now,” Jon said of his solo career. “After all you cannot split from yourself. “I have this restlessness about me when it comes to music which means I always have to be looking for new things.” The Fratellis exploded from a vibrant Glasgow music scene
“The sound is amazing”
to score huge chart hits like Chelsea Dagger. With frontman Jon’s Marc Bolan looks, the high-energy three-piece became one of the biggest bands in Britain. Then they disintegrated. “I’m not sure if I’m a band kind of person,” Jon admitted. “I like playing music with people, but am probably not suited to the personalities and the politics that go into being in an official band. “I’m a great believer that life has to keep on moving and that everything has its particular time. “We were in that band for four or five years together and that seems like enough to me.” The singer-songwriter releases debut album Psycho Jukebox later this year. An ambitious slice of pop rock, it expands The Fratellis sound, bringing more emotional depth to his lyrics. And Jon insisted it overshadows the work he
did with his first band. “That record is by far the best thing I’ve ever been involved in,” he said. “If I was to go back to being in a band like The Fratellis, I would not be able to play those solo songs. “I find that almost impossible to even contemplate. “My solo material will make sense to anybody that liked The Fratellis. “But it also seems to be musically quite different, which is important.” Fans of The Fratellis’ hoping to hear some of the band’s classic hits should not worry. Despite his new direction, Jon refuses to turn his back completely on his past. And he promised he will play Fratellis favourites for Aberdeen fans at the Tunnels gig. “We will absolutely do old stuff,” he said. “I don’t feel the need to divide up the songs that I’ve written. “I like the choice of playing what I feel like any given night. There are Fratelli songs, a couple of Codeine Velvet Club tracks in there. “I don’t want to be in a position where I do not play those songs again. I put a lot into writing and recording them. It is only fair that I play them and let the fans hear them.”
IN ACTION: Jon Fratelli on stage.
LOOK-ALIKE: Singer Marc Bolan.
CREW: Jon, left, with former Fratellis Barry and Mince.
GOING SOLO: Singersongwriter Jon Fratelli.