HARTLEPOOL musician Al Devon is looking forward to the freedom of playing solo gigs and the launch of a new business venture after deciding to quit The Jar Family.
Five years after forming, Al can look back on some fantastic memories with the band as they toured around the UK, released two hotly-tipped albums and performed at sell-out gigs in Hartlepool.
But while the band are currently on a tour of Japan, Al is back in the town looking ahead to his own future after deciding to walk away.
“You have to be enjoying it and it got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying it anymore,” Al honestly admitted.
“I have had the best time of my life with the band but there comes a point where you have to make a decision for yourself.”
The 36-year-old leaves with no hard feelings whatsoever and revealed there were no arguments in the build-up to the split.
And as well as focusing on his own career, he is also hopeful the band the continues to go from strength-to-strength in the future.
“The lads are my best mates and I’ll obviously still be supporting them, especially when they come back to gig in the town,” said Al, who wrote Jar Family favourite Poolie Strut.
“I want them to be successful.
“I have lived and breathed with the lads for the last five years.”
Al, who lives in the town centre area of Hartlepool, has more than 30 songs he has penned over the last year which he now plans to record in the studio.
Although he is no longer part of the band, it doesn’t mean he won’t be gigging. He has already got one festival booked for the summer with plenty more in the pipeline,
And on top of his solo stuff, Al is also planning to move south to Brighton where he is going to set up his own vintage clothing businesses.
He is excited about the future - but will always remain proud of his time as a member of The Jar Family.
“As a band we always did everything we could for Hartlepool and the lads will continue to do that,” he said.
“The town should be proud of them, they work very hard and come back to Hartlepool to play as often as they can.
“But I feel like I’ve made the right decision, I had to be true to myself.
“The great thing about The Jar Family is, with such a strong set of songwriters the band will survive and hopefully go on to achieve more success.”
Al’s music and upcoming gigs can be found by visiting www.facebook.com/aldevonmusic.