Nathan Fleet
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Nathan Fleet

Hamilton, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 1989 | SELF

Hamilton, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 1989
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter




"Nathan Fleet ‘Can Put On A Hell Of A Show’"

Nathan Fleet, director of the Hamilton Film Festival taking place this week of November 4 through 12, has come back to the stage after a 17 year hiatus. Fleet last performed in public during his time at Delta Collegiate in 2000. In the years following he continued developing himself as a popular music teacher, guitarist and songwriter/composer. His continued expansion of ideas took him into film production. In 2009 he attained a degree of success as a film maker with Tim Dashwood when he produced, directed, performed and composed the music for the hilarious movie “Air Knob” in which two neighbourhood dudes enter into an epic air-guitar battle.

In more recent years Fleet has ramped up his support for the independent film industry by developing and expanding the Hamilton Film Festival. Keeping in sync with his philosophy of making sure Hamilton is in the Hamilton Film Festival, Fleet has started this year’s music-themed festival with a full helping of true Hamilton-City-of-Music-brand music – his own.

Fleet also directed the Hamilton Film Festival to use Hamilton’s local ticket solution Brü, an innovative company that is changing the way people interact with their local community, discover events and purchase tickets. Kristian Borghesan, the company’s co-founder, remarked, “… damn can Nathan Fleet ever sing and put on one hell of a show!”

CD sales were brisk after the concert at Concession Street’s Zoetic Theatre, which focused entirely on the recording Love Hate City. Ten years in the making, the album is a collection of diverse themes which touch on local history, people, places and general human experiences. The stylish Zoetic theatre held a large, supportive crowd. They embraced the music and the musicians completely. Fleet casually fronted his very capable band and joked at his own expense, “This is our first and last show of our world tour,” or “This is actually our fourth rehearsal tonight…” but there was no mistake about talent or ability when he started to sing.

Vince Tarlton. Photo by David Scacchi.
Fleet’s range, timbre and power reminded me instantly of Styx’s Dennis DeYoung. And without disappointment the band was able to back up the power and didn’t let up for a second. They were plugged in, for real.

Nathan Fleet takes the stage at The Zoetic. Copyright © 2017 Brian Berneker
After half-a-dozen rockers, the audience was treated to a couple of gentler solo acoustic tunes, revealing a glimpse of Fleet’s more sensitive side. By this point in the show it was obvious that Fleet is a multi-talented, inspired artist who can reach in any direction to be musically expressive. I think that making movie soundtracks is a fitting place for this type of human. And in Hamilton we are fortunate to have him holding the reins for our own international film festival. Lucky us.

With Ian Venema (backup vocals), Michael Scott (drums), Marty Fleet (bass), Nathan Fleet, Norm Quesnel (backup vocals), Kevin Tarlton (backup vocals), Vince Tarlton (guitar) and Mike Alonzo (piano). Photo by David Scacchi. Used with permission.
By the end of the show Fleet had invited two more backup singers on stage as well as of his young guitar students to join him. A pleasant surprise was to hear the powerful and heartfelt song Turn It On. It was one of the entries into a song contest that the City organized to promote the Hamilton JUNOs back in 2015. The contest had many entries, and while this song did not win the prize, it definitely has the passion and delivery that speaks to Hamilton’s personality and spirit when it comes to music and humanity in general. I’m glad Turn It On is on the CD. It will be on auto-repeat. - Glen Brown, Hamilton City of Music

"The album is very much in line with the vintage metal sound Fleet grew up with, big guitar riffs, with an over-the-top Tenacious D-like swagger."

Nathan Fleet has become so much a part of the Hamilton Film Festival over the past 12 years that it's easy to forget that he started out as a musician. But Fleet is bringing his two passions — music and film — together this weekend when he kicks off the 2017 edition of the festival.

Fleet is combining the film fest's opening gala Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Zoetic Theatre, 526 Concession St., with a release party for his new hard-rock CD "Love Hate City." He and his band will perform the songs from the 12-track album after a screening of a few short films, including "Air Knob," Fleet's own hilarious account of a front-porch air-guitar duel.

For eight days following the launch party until Nov. 12, the Hamilton Film Fest (not to be confused with the Art Gallery's World Film Festival) will screen about 150 short and feature length films — foreign and local, documentary and drama, horror and animated, comedy and crime — at the six participating venues.

Few, if any of the titles, you've heard before. Many you will never hear again.

There will also be workshops, panels and schmooze sessions, all designed for aspiring filmmakers and lovers of the off-beat.

Fleet has been involved with the festival since its inception in 2004, taking over as director in 2008 and at the helm ever since.

Interestingly enough, the theme Fleet has chosen for this year's film fest is music. And, believe it or not, he chose the theme before he decided to release "Love Hate City."

"It was really the music theme of the festival that kicked me in the butt to actually set a release date," Fleet said. "I started recording the album 10 years ago with no release date set. It was this year's festival that prompted me to finally finish it."

Fleet grew up in east Hamilton during the '80s listening to British heavy metal music — Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden and Motorhead — and has played in a succession of metal and prog-rock bands with names like Slayed Angels and Madman Symphony.

In recent years, however, he put his rock music aside focusing his attention on running the film festival and teaching music through the Royal Conservatory's Learning Through the Arts program. Fleet now hopes to use "Love Hate City" in instructional videos through his Blue Pick Media website. - Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator


Love Hate City, 2017

Music / lyrics / performed and produced by Nathan Fleet

Guest vocalists: Tomi Swick, Lisa Winn, Kevin Tarlton, Norm Quesnel

Recorded  at Blue Pick Media (Hamilton)

Vocals recorded at Q.E.D. Media by Dave Beatty

Mastered by John Rodd (Los Angeles) 



Guitar-driven rock music is what you will hear from Hamilton's Nathan Fleet. Fleet, also a film and TV composer, likes to include some theatrical or cinematic moments within the songs he writes. LOVE HATE CITY, his latest offering, is a rock album with a few eclectic surprises. "As much as I love writing rock songs, I can't help but add some songs that a listener might not expect." - said Fleet. 

In a live setting, Nathan has a powerful voice that surprises. Going from ballad-soft to theatrical-full within a few words, audiences are usually caught off guard

With 30+ years under his belt, Fleet's guitar playing skills are incredible. Going from softer bluesy riffs (The Staircase) into full-out rock/metal (Do Not Feed The Wolves) and the carefully crafted solo weaves (Brace for Winter / Song Worth Singing), he demonstrates that he is a humble player with just the right amount of show, and that no genre is out of reach. 

His core band is made up of two musicians that have also been playing for decades. Marty Fleet (bass) and Michael Scott (Drums). Other players have included Ian Venema (Vocals), Mike Alonzo (Piano), Kevin Tarlton (Backing vocals) and Norm Quesnel (Backing Vocals) The youngest member of the band is Vince Tarlton (Rhythm guitar), who plays in a number of Hamilton bands.

The show is lively and audience-focused with the song order carefully crafted to deliver a solid set, always ending on high note with the audience pleaser, Blame It On My Guitar. 

Band Members