Duncan’s feeding us with new songs from the Zoo

Duncan Jowitt, as he appears in latest band Boneyard Zombies
Duncan Jowitt, as he appears in latest band Boneyard Zombies
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Duncan Jowitt, it would be fair to say, is a man into his music.

Those who’ve grown up on the Fylde coast with an interest in the local scene will probably recognise his name straight away.

He was in Zoo Boutique at the start of the 80s, in the post-punk era. Critics described them as being a bit like OMD, though Duncan prefers a comparison with The Human League.

It was the closest he got to making it. The band’s single was played on Radio One but despite people all over wanting to get their hands on it, they didn’t have a distribution deal so couldn’t get the single into the shops.

“If it had happened now, we could have just stuck it on the internet, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case back then,” he says, a hint of regret in his voice.

Over the years he has been in “loads of other bands”, as he puts it, which gave him an idea.

Duncan, now 53 but still as into his music as ever, has, using his record label Thundersqueak Records, decided to breathe new life into many deleted and previously unreleased recordings by the best rock bands and artists from around the Fylde coast.

His record label has been releasing albums by well-known Blackpool band UFX for the last 10 years, but he is now making albums, singles and EPs several other local bands available for the first time ever.

All have been remastered and are available as downloads from Amazon and i-Tunes and all the usual internet sites.

“I set the record label up originally to release records by UFX, a band a lot of Blackpool music-lovers will know,” said Duncan, who lives in Cleveleys and works for Wyre Council.

“But while I was doing it I suddenly thought ‘why not get a load more music out there, release some of the stuff that was really popular in Blackpool back in the day?’

“Music’s been a passion of mine since I was 17 and there have been some great bands on the Fylde over the last three decades or so.

“I just thought some of that music deserved to be heard.”

The records being re-released include Fleetwood duo Mockingbone (whose recordings between 1995 and 97 were previously available only on three ultra-rare CDs) and Lucifer’s Cyber Punk Rock release from 1994.

The recorded legacy of another fine Fleetwood band, Shining Sons, is now also available for the first time, mostly of recordings made in Preston at the end of the 80s.

There is also the album Forgotten by Zoo Boutique (recorded in the early 80s) and Two Sane Men, an album recorded by the band just before it permanently folded at the end of 1986.

All the albums and EPs can be downloaded in full or as individual tracks, with Duncan promising there is plenty more to come.

Anyone interested should head to iTunes and Amazon and search for the 
bands.