Fleur Jack
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Fleur Jack

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Country




"On Foreign Soil: Fleur Jack - North America on $10 a Day!"

Determined and multi-talented, Fleur Jack is a music enthusiast in every sense of the word. If she’s not working at Kiwi FM, presenting her own independent music radio show I.A.N., she’s likely busy rehearsing, playing or promoting. Well known around the country as lead singer and bassist in The Twitch (NZ winners of the 2005 World Battle of the Bands), 2010 saw her start a new project called Pavlova and the Jandals. This year has seen another shift, with the focus even more on her own music and a strict-budget solo tour of Canada and the USA, with the International Pop Overthrow Festival in Vancouver as the carrot and her first stop. Fleur very kindly agreed to share the challenge with NZM.

Canada, September 1
After three plane rides and 24 hours of travel, I made it to Vancouver… but my luggage didn’t. I’d decided before leaving home that I was going to buy a guitar overseas, so I wasn’t completely freaking out, but I did stand in front of the baggage claim guy bawling my eyes out with total exhaustion, until he gave me directions and an overnight bag. My luggage turned up a day later, by when I’d already got myself a brand new acoustic guitar – a Taylor 710ce. I was also able to rent an amplifier from the guitar store (Long and McQuades) for my five Canadian shows for only $50. I didn’t want to buy an amp and have to cross the border with too much stuff, so that was a great option.

Vancouver, September 3
My first show was at the Railway Club in Vancouver for the International Pop Overthrow Festival. The festival tours all over the U.S. and also travels to London and a few other places. I was invited to play the festival all through the west coast of the U.S., as well as Canada, but they were starting in the opposite direction to the one I wanted to travel in and also a month before I was ready to leave (so I just decided to book my own shows outside of the festival).
The venue is one of the oldest in the city and specialises in live music. A miniature train runs around the entire ceiling. There were eight bands on the bill and I played first, to around 80 people, though the venue packed out later. I met an old ex-pat Kiwi who’s lived in Canada for 23 years and after he said he’d missed me play, I played again out the back of the pub for him and some locals. They threw me money and the cocktails flowed freely, which was really nice. I think I made a hundred bucks just from doing that back-room gig!
For anyone who loves 3am food after a gig, Canada may not have steak and cheese pies but they’ve got Poutine, and it’s my new favourite post-gig mess food. Hot chips with mozzarella and cheese curd melted on top, then smothered in gravy – it got a smiley face and two thumbs up from me.

Kelowna, September 6
Rocking up to Budget Rentals with my booking form it wasn’t until I tried to use my credit card that I realised I’d overlooked something kind of major. All my money was tied into a loaded-for-travel card and they wouldn’t accept it. I tried to transfer money back to my regular credit card, but Kiwibank was offline. Although it was nearly lunchtime in Canada, the banks weren’t open for me to call and I only had the exact amount of hours I needed to drive to Kelowna in time for my next gig. My friend Ken saved the day and we used his credit card, though it ended up costing more because they had to put him down as an extra driver. Fuck you Kiwibank! What’s the point in having money you can’t access?
I got to my gig at the Minstrel Cafe in Kelowna and it was the first time I’d ever seen my name up in lights. I played for a couple of hours but there were only around 30 people there. The food made up for it though, and as well as being paid by the bar I sold a few CDs. The local hostel organised a gig there for me for the following night, to around 40 travellers. I got to know them quite well over the few days I was in town and got to do some tourist stuff too; like kayaking the Okanagan Lake, swimming, and I even climbed Mt Knox.

Kamloops, September 9
It’s my birthday back home in NZ, but not until tomorrow here – so this year I get two birthdays! I’m on the road to the desert in Kamloops to play the local Pogue Mahones Irish bar and it’s stinking hot. I have no reception and no internet. My sister called me from the Coromandel, which was the only call I got. The gig was fine but I didn’t have any accommodation sorted, so slept in my car.

Vancouver, September 10
I woke up on my Canadian birthday down by a river and drove back to Vancouver for the last of my five shows … crying most of the way. It was really hard not being able to talk to anyone on my birthday, but I did (for the first time ever) go to Denny’s for a free birthday breakfast. I figured it was mandatory. My birthday went from bad to worse when I turned up to the Princeton Pub for my show. There was no sign of a door person, sound person, promoter or the other bands. I was told to play at 8pm and although there was a full house of 60 year olds, there was still no crew. I pieced together the PA and did my own sound, which I’d never done before. It’s hard to know how to get EQ and levels right when you’re on the stage, and as for doing the door from the stage, yeah right. I went on at 8pm, as planned, and during my last song the other band turned up. Nobody should ever be alone on their birthday!

USA, September 15
Hello America! I rocked up to Guitar Center in Lynnwood, Washington to buy a little amp to travel the States with and met Wesley. He’s a total babe and ended up coming to the show in Seattle. We spent all night talking crap and no doubt we’ll be friends forever. I played at the Faire Gallery in Seattle, which was a cute and intimate gig, with amazing local folk artists.
I read Blink’s book about DIY international touring before I came out here, and I’d recommend it to anyone thinking about booking a foreign tour. GPS was one of the things I read about in the book and having it sure makes life easier! Driving on the other side of the road is really easy, but I still haven't figured out how to cross the road yet.

Olympia, September 16
The show in Olympia was my first taste of the American ‘home show’. It’s a big deal for the artists and something I want to bring back to NZ with me. I don’t know how I’ve played for so long and never done a home show – parties excluded. A small and intimate affair with only 15 guests invited along to the host’s house. Mark and Jeanne cooked me dinner as well as putting on snacks and drinks for their friends. On top of the money the guests paid, I sold the most CDs of any gig and played a really nice set in a house that overlooked a lake with deer frolicking wild in the garden outside.

Portland, September 17
A surprise visit from Kiwi musician Timothy Blackman to my show at the Laurelthirst in Portland – easily the coolest venue so far. The local bands I played with were much more country than me, and all great musicians. It was a really fun set; I broke a string and talked a lot of crap on stage. I purchased the bar’s tee shirt so I could remember the show.
The next couple of days I road-tripped myself down the Oregon and Californian coasts, all the way to San Francisco. I have never felt so free. I actually did a freedom call out the window just after crossing through the state line. Got my nose pierced in Haight Ashbury in San Francisco, did some shopping at Anthropology, hung out with some cool hippies at a local bar and watched a jazz band.

Bishop CA, September 23
The drive from San Francisco to Bishop, California was beautiful and scary at the same time. The temperature went from 100 degrees to 50 in about 40 minutes of driving, and there were some serious cliffs that you could drive off if you weren’t careful.
My gig was at Spellbinder Books, they have a cafe out the back of the shop where I set up. It was a bring-a-plate and donation gig, and I got to try a home-grown orange tomato (to-may-toe). A local rodeo rider tried his line on me: “They check IDs and I check for hairy legs’. His hand got slapped away very quickly!

Hollywood, CA, 22 September
Drove into Hollywood and went straight to Sacred Tattoos for some ink. I got the top of my arm done with a cool hippy design that looks like it’s just been drawn on. Next day I took a trip to see where my album was mastered. The Bernie Grundman Studios are covered in gold records. Michael Jackson, Madonna, Stevie Nicks, Dr. Dre, Carole King and so many more. I got to sit in the room and see how my album was mastered and learn a bit about the studio’s history.
Tonight I’m off to a hippy music festival in Joshua Tree, which is in the desert. After that it’ll be time to hit Vegas, then drive the Grand Canyon towards New Mexico for a couple of shows and finish up with my last show in Trinidad, Colorado, where my grandad lives.
As always with touring, you try to cram so much into every day. Every night there has been a huge party to be had, but how many times can you write, ‘killer after-party man!’ before it sounds like they weren’t all awesome? This has been the first solo tour I’ve ever done and it’s on the other side of the world. It’s totally changed my way of thinking about life and I might have to marry an American in Vegas (by Elvis, of course) so that I can stay here.

- NZ Musician Magazine

"Ghosts of Ciamrron album review"

Solo albums, like side projects, are hit and miss. For every John Lennon's Imagine or Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, there's a Peter Criss' Peter Criss or Roger Waters' The Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking. Often the artist will say it's to 'Get the songs out they can't play with their band' or something along the like, and occasionally they just end up sounding exactly like songs from said band.

Auckland musician Fleur Jack, from dirty rock and rollers The Twitch, has done the opposite. While her main band are notorious for their hard rocking party tunes, Jack has turned towards the direction of folk and country. Now I know to some people those are dirty words, but look past that. Ghosts Of Cimarron is a gorgeous collection of songs that will appeal to everyone from your friends to your grandparents (Speaking from personal experience).

From album opener Waiting By The Phone to closer Leaving Me, this album feels like Jack is telling you stories of her life and passions. Title track Ghosts Of Cimarron recounts the tale of the Saint James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico, which was the home to such famous outlaws as Jesse James and Clay Allison, a place Fleur travelled to last year. Olivia is a lovely song written for her younger sister, and shows the kind of sisterly love most musicians don't open up to. It's this kind of personal and passionate lyrical content that carries this album, and Jack's emotive voice brings it all home. Sounding at times like a more relaxed Joan Jett, numbers like Eyes Across The Fire and Drink With You, which were already bare and emotional, have that extra something so many songs lack.

As the album plays through, you can't help but fall in love with Fleur and her upbeat, honest and dreamy tales of love, loss and everything in between. Album highlights F**k Everybody Else, a sure-to-be anthem for those of us who only need one on our team, and Trinidad, a song about the Colorado town with red brick streets, bring the whole thing together and ensure the album will stay in your player for a long time yet.

On a side note, you might be interested to know Fleur funded the recording of this album through website Sellaband, becoming the 51st artist in the site's history to successfully achieve their goal. It's the independent spirit of people like Fleur who keep my faith in the industry alive.

All in all, Ghosts Of Cimarron is a fantastic debut from an artist that, sadly, New Zealand will be losing to the world in but a few short months. While it will be a loss to the New Zealand scene, it'ssure to propel Fleur into the world's eyes where someone like her needs, and deserves, to be.

Artist: Fleur Jack And The Jandals

Album: Ghosts Of Cimarron

Genre: Indie, folk, country

Website: http://www.fleurjack.com

Highlights: F**k Everybody Else, Trinidad, Ghosts Of Cimarron

Track Listing:

1. Waiting By The Phone

2. Ghosts Of Cimarron

3. Eyes Across The Fire

4. Wild Ride

5. F**k Everybody Else

6. Dark

7. Drink With You

8. In Your Arms

9. Trinidad

10. Olivia

11. The Letter

12. Sally Was A Killer

13. Leaving Me

- Bloody Barlow

"Ghosts of Ciamrron album; 4/5 Stars"

Fleur Jack is a singer and songwriter from Auckland, New Zealand. In her previous band, The Twitch she played bass as well. Aside from playing music and writing songs, Fleur Jack has also been a broadcaster, working with the I.A.N (Indie, Alternative, New) Show. As you can see this woman is very talented and keeps busy!

Along with her new band, The Jandals she will release Ghosts of Cimarron on March 30th. This album has a very mellow country/folk vibe with a few great biting rock songs mixed in. Fleur Jack’s lyrical style is very feisty and honest. She sings of losing a love, and longing for love and not caring about what others say about her. In the song “F*** Everybody Else” she very blatantly says that she doesn’t care what others think, they can take her for who she is. She would probably have more friends if she would just “shut up” but hey what can you do right? The contrast of tough as nails lyrics and acoustic folksy music proves to be a winning combination.

Musically the album is a terrific showcase for Jack’s unique voice. She can’t be compared to anyone else; her voice is filled with personality and feeling. You can tell she truly feels what she is singing about. Most times her voice is very husky and filled with attitude but in some songs like “Drink With You” her voice is smooth and seductive. “Trinidad” is another fantastic song that stylistically could be compared to Sheryl Crow (the music, not her voice).

Although most of the album features songs with just acoustic guitar there is one song that stands out, “Sally Was A Killer”. It begins with a repeating electric guitar riff and Jack singing quietly “Sally was a killer.” With each chorus the song builds, and the song gets more and more powerful while Jack’s voice stays gentle which is a nice contrast. It’s a rocking tune and perhaps the catchiest one on the album.

Ghosts of Cimarron is a terrific album that could have even been a contender for our Women of Indie Issue. It’s a great journey from beginning to end, and after it’s over you won’t hesitate to press play again.

Fleur Jack is currently playing shows in support of Ghosts of Cimarron and plans to tour the US and Canada soon as well. Check out her music (read: buy her album, it’s worth every penny!) and help her get a chance to tour the US!

Rating: 4/5 Stars!

Album Name: Ghosts of Cimarron
Date Released: March, 2012
Genre(s): Alt. Country
Location: New Zealand
Record Label: Rangi Records
Band Members: Fleur Jack, Scott Wotherspoon, Joel Vinsen, Simon Ross
Website: http://www.fleurjack.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fleurjackmusic - Indie Music Reviewer Magazine

"Fleur Jack Hits Target on SellaBand"

Fleur Jack, one of our 50K MUSIC Squad members, has completed her fundraising on SellaBand with a final boost of 43 parts invested by one believer last night at 00:07 a.m. With a budget of 9,000 EUR she's going to hit the studio soon and I hope we will get her reports about album production here on 50K MUSIC. - 50K Music Magazine

"Sellaband and the art of making funding work for you"

Auckland musician and Kiwi FM radio host Fleur Jack is the latest local to reach her Sellaband target, a more modest US$12,000. She is also currently utilising creative project funding site IndieGoGo.com to raise video funding and offered to tell NZM readers how each have worked for her. - NZ Musician Magazine


The Twitch - What the F**k is going on? - 2006 - Rangi Records
The Twitch - Time for Change - 2010 - Rangi Records
Pavlova and the Jandals - Self Titled - 2010 Rangi Records
Fleur Jack & The Jandals - Ghosts of Cimarron - 2012 - Rangi Records

We Will Rise Again - Compilation album - 2011
(this compilation also features Lionel Ritchie )

Titirangi Festival Music - Compilation albums -2010, 2011 and 2012.



Fleur Jack is a song writer from New Zealand with a passion for the stage. She has performed her music and toured through Canada, The United States, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.

*The debut solo album Ghosts of Cimarron was released in April 2012.

*June 2012, sees the relocation from Auckland NZ to Seattle, WA.

*New York music festival CMJ has the latest song featured on their website here: http://www.cmj.com/columns/on-air/95bfm-in-session-fleur-jack/

The relocation comes after the 2011 North American solo tour where Fleur navigated solo from Vancouver to Colorado over 5 weeks.

The second north American tour will be over September 2012 and Fleur will use Seattle as a home base to write and record the next CD (At London Bridge Studios).
Booked for the second year in a row for the International Pop Overthrow Festival, This time in Seattle for August 2012.

Fleur has a Diploma in Contemporary Performance from MAINZ (The Music and Audio Institute of NZ) and graduated with awards for outstanding overall student, songwriter of the year and performer of the year.

Through MAINZ Fleur met her band The Twitch (2003 -2012). Fleur is the lead singer and bass player for the post-punk band. From their modest beginnings, dirty post punk rock and rollers The Twitch have etched themselves indelibly on the New Zealand music scene, winning NZ Battle of the Bands in 2005. They went onto Hong Kong to perform in the world final coming second place. They have continued to tour and release albums ever since and were chosen to open for The Misfits on their NZ show in 2011.

Fleur was also in collaborative project band Pavlova and the Jandals who released an album and toured NZ in 2010.

At the end of 2010, Fleur became the 51st artist in the world to successfully raise to target on the website funding platform Sellaband and she used the money to record her debut solo album 'Ghosts of Cimarron.'

Fleur's song 'Not My Fault' was featured on a compilation called 'We Will Rise Again' alongside Lionel Ritchie.

Band Members