|Just Jack |
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Steve Lowes from Retaliate First Management who represents Just Jack and ex Stone Roses singer Ian Brown says, "This is an obvious way forward that will be commonplace over the next few years, someone has got to get the ball rolling. I'll be very interested to see what pick up we get on a new artist like Jack.
The music business is the only business I know of that only markets to its existing customers. I'm more interested in finding new customers than chasing an ever dwindling 'traditional' market."
The digital version of The Outer Marker will be distributed by online publicists Way to Blue, who will make it available across a number of entertainment web sites.
"Technical innovation has determined MP3 to be the most popular music format of our times," says Mylon Domican. "To create a buying culture for MP3s, which are currently free, you must add the same kind of value to a digital album that you get with a DVD album - that's why we're including video, ringtones and artwork for the 6.99."
"The initial response across the online media has been really encouraging - it's good for the web sites because they get a cut of the sale just like any other retailer would, and perfect for their users, who they unanimously believe want MP3s not copy protected music files."
Backing up their claim that no stone should remain unturned, RG Records have also employed the services of an online web consultant who has been utilising a new track 'Lesson One' to promote the album virally by placing it on peer to peer services such as Kazaa (currently boasting 3.1/2 million users) and contacting online radio stations and servicing the single to DJ's internationally. The next targets will include online fanzines of all sizes and they hope that in conjunction with Way To Blue's online campaign, some really tangible results will be seen from this online offensive.
Initially a low key release through new London independent label RG Records, Just Jack's debut album 'The Outer Marker' received fantastic reviews. The Independent called it "impressive", Q said, "masterful" and Time Out said, "Moody. Mean. Bloody marvellous"
Features in the NME - "Awesome. Welcome Just Jack, you rule!", and The Big Issue quickly followed this praise and Jack has been hailed as "The new troubadour of daily life in the UK".
There has been such a groundswell of support from the media that the album has also been re-packaged for general re-release with extra tracks and the video for 'Snowflakes'.
Airplay on XFM, remixes from the likes of Aphrodite and a now famous Cure bootleg of 'Snowflakes' which was called "the first classic single of 2003", are further propelling Just Jack into the limelight, but this is a character who'll be able to handle it.
Jack's confidence is infectious-for a man playing his first two gigs ever to sold-out crowds at Cargo and The Scala, he displayed no fear at all. Instead he radiated good vibes, grinned like a Cheshire cat and lapped up the considerable buzz. It's as if he was born to do it- bantering with the crowd, introducing the band - there's no studied cool rock star posturing here. Nor is he trying to ape the success of anyone else.
There's an honesty and strength to the words of Jack's songs that truly mark the difference between a studio bound experimenter and a future star - it's the courage to speak the uncomfortable truths that makes Jack a true artist. Take the machismo-smashing honesty of 'Lesson One' and its mockery of lad culture, or the love-hate frustrations of 'Triple Tone Eyes'-behind all Jack's lyrics you'll find the kernel of truth that stays hidden in most everyday situations.
"I never had heroes and never wanted to be like other musicians", he says. " I have no affiliations to anyone, I'm not part of a gang, I'm not a part of a scene and I don't have a sound that's obviously a part of a scene. I'm Just Jack."
Jack and his band played his third ever gig to a great crowd at the Glastonbury Dance Tent and performed at the V Festivals this summer.
Further gigs included The Carling Festival, Leeds and Reading and Edinburgh Underbelly (23 August). Jack is currently demoing new material and is close to signing a US record deal. A solo tour will soon be announced for the end of this year.
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