Six years later, I finally got my chance to have a formal conversation with Jacquie Neville. Six years almost to the day when I saw her and met her for the first time, at the Lachie Festival in June of 2014. At the time, I was there playing with Hiroshima Hearts and she was there playing with The Balconies. As luck would have it, we finished our set on the stage next to the main stage, where they were scheduled to play when we were done.
Such lucky timing.
As I said in our conversation, I heard Jacquie before I saw her. We were walking around backstage, heading to the main stage seating area, and I heard a magnificent shriek from out front. My ears perked up immediately. When I poked my head around to look at the stage, there she was – jet black hair, jet black guitar, jet black stage clothes. Feather. She looked the way rock stars used to look, which is why started called her The Last Rockstar. I sat on the ground and watched The Balconies for the next 45 minutes or so and became an instant and dedicated fan. Jacquie is an incredible – almost terrifying – frontperson, and The Balconies were simply a great band.
We’ll get to that.
After their show I clutched my all-access pass and bee-lined for the artist entrance to backstage. I found Jacquie and said hello and asked her for an interview for my London Groove Machine music blog. She agreed … and then we spend six years going around in circles and never quite making it happen.
Those six years included the break-up of The Balconies in 2018 after a decade of slogging it out on the road. That was a sad time, but the uplifting part comes from the following two years in Jacquie’s life as she’s processed her loss, dealt with the bitterness, created a new and much different life, and ultimately found her way back to music as a solo artist. She was very candid about what she’s gone through and how it’s brought her to this new identity and place.
I wasn’t necessarily expecting all of that when at last we met via Zoom (sorry for the audio quality). It’s funny how so many of these conversations bring deep wisdom and life lessons for people. I wish I could take credit but I can’t. My guests are experienced and open people and I appreciate them sharing their stories on my podcast.
So if you were a Balconies fan, tune in.
If you’re a Jacquie fan, tune in.
If you love rock and roll music, tune in.
If you’re struggling with a change or a loss of identity, tune in.
If you want to hear The Last Rockstar talk about Bob Dylan, tune in.
And after you’ve listened, check out some of Jacquie’s work. Get on-board now with her solo project, because there’s much more to come!