Let’s hear it for the girls

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Julia Deans has had just about enough of dick jokes.

Having worked in the industry for more than two decades, the Kiwi songstress says the New Zealand music industry is heavily weighted in favour of men, and with that, came “a lot of dick jokes”.

“I don’t mind a dick joke, but come on…”, she laughs.

It’s one of the reasons the former Fur Patrol frontwoman is making her first solo tour in seven years female-driven.

She’s bringing that tour, in support of her new album We Light Fire, to Queenstown’s Sherwood tomorrow night.

All of the support artists on her tour are locally appointed, with a focus on female, “female-identifying, gender non-binary-fronted” bands or solo artists.

The team behind the tour are also predominantly women – booking agent, promoter, publicist, and the majority of Deans’ band and touring crew.

“It seemed just like a natural thing to do,” she says.

“Throughout my career I have strived to be recognised as a musician first, but often my being a woman has meant I’ve been looked upon as some kind of novelty.

“The industry’s entirely male-dominated. It’s part of that really important discussion we need to be having across all aspects of life.

“The only way we can address that is to make the environment more open, and less confrontational for women.

“It’s important to discuss these things.”

Many Kiwi fans will have first come across Deans during her Fur Patrol days.

The rockers formed in 1996, going on to win four Tui Awards and release five EPs and albums.

People still occasionally ask her to play the band’s biggest hit, Lydia, which topped the NZ charts in 2000.

She says she doesn’t mind – she loves it when people sing along.

Despite a seven-year gap between albums, during which Deans moved house and worked on other projects, she says the new record feels like a continuation of her solo debut.

While all of the songs sound quite different to each other, there’s still an over-arching thread of “the need to talk and listen”.

“We need to be there for each other.”

She says she hasn’t played in Queenstown at all”, but she’s looking forward to it.

“It’s going to be a beautiful night.”

To catch Julia Deans, head along to Sherwood tomorrow night, 8.30pm, tickets $40