‘It’s been a few years coming’: Jake Evans talks to MM after debut album and UK tour

Macclesfield-born musician Jake Evans rounded off his UK tour on Friday night at Manchester’s Deaf Institute.

Evans, whose career has taken in founding membership of Bernard Sumner-led, post-New Order band Bad Lieutenant and collaborations with Doves rocker Jimi Goodwin, was showcasing his debut album, Day One.

MM spoke to Jake about his new record, the tour and how he arrived at this point in his career.

“I was in a band called Rambo & Leroy with my brother and we supported New Order at one of their shows in Wolverhampton,” he said.

“I’ve known Phil [Cunningham, New Order] for many years, we’re good friends. He got us the support gig initially way back in 2009, and that’s how it started.

“Bernard [Sumner] checked out our set, and as New Order were going to be hanging up the stirrups for a bit he wanted to get a new band together.

“Next thing I know, I’m working with [Blur’s] Alex James, Bernard and all them lot. The whole cycle of that was probably about four years all told, from writing the album to the last day.

“Towards the end of that, I started writing my own stuff while also working with Jimi Goodwin on his solo record. Him and Bernard feature on the album, which has been a few years coming to be honest.”

Having finally unleashed his own work into the world, Jake’s relief and, crucially, positivity is easy to pick up on.

And the singer and guitarist hasn’t been afraid to call on his legendary Mancunian contacts for guidance on his first foray into life as a solo artist.

He said: “The single’s just come out, Glorious, and it’s been getting a bit of airplay. Guy [Garvey, of Elbow] has been playing it.

“I met Guy through playing with Jimi’s band, and it’s nice to have the seal of approval from someone like that.

“It’s all good, and it seems to be moving in the right direction.

“I co-wrote a couple of tracks on the album with my brother, and Jimi provided backing vocals on Sun Goes Down. Bernard did an alternate version on another track with me, too.

“I’ve been working on other projects as well, and built the studio.

“But I wanted to get it sounding exactly how I wanted it to sound. I was in no rush to get it finished really, and with it being my first album I had no-one prodding me to get it finished.”

That hard work has clearly paid dividends, though, as Jake recently toured his new material across the UK, culminating with his homecoming on Friday.

Speaking before the show, Jake told MM that he was excited for the show at The Deaf Institute – a venue that he holds close to his heart.

“The tour started at the end of February, and we’ve done Glasgow, Chester, London, Coventry and Birmingham,” he said.

“I’m really looking forward to Friday’s gig – it’ll be the third time I’ve played there. We’ve done Gorilla, and I’m hoping to head somewhere like that for my next show if more people are switched onto the music.

“But The Deaf Institute is a fantastic venue – probably the smallest, most ‘proper-feeling’ venue you can play really.

“There’s always a great atmosphere, and every gig I’ve seen there has always sounded great. There’s just a great vibe, so it’s definitely one of my favourites.”

Not one to rest on his early success, Jake has wasted no time getting to work on his next album, on which he seems keen to take a slightly different approach.

“I’m busy writing the next lot now, and I definitely want to get it done quicker this time,” he said.

“I think I’ll do it a bit more collaboratively in terms of production, because it was pretty stressful at times, I must admit.

“Song-wise, the sound has a bit more anger in there, possibly through dissatisfaction with the way things are at the minute – socially, politically and economically.

“But that’s the thing with song-writing, I don’t try to pick it apart too much because maybe some of the magic would be lost if I did that.

“You’ve got to enjoy it, even things like schlepping about in a van at 4 o’clock in the morning.

“I’d never complain – I love it, it’s the best thing in the world.”

Image courtesy of Alex Wright, via Twitter, with thanks

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