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Neill Duncan 'Phantom Tones' album release with Devils Gate Outfit (Wlgtn)

Meow Wellington

Sunday, March 26, 2023 8:00 PM


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Kiwijahzz is honoured and proud to present an album by the outstanding and remarkable musician Neill Duncan (March 9, 1957 - December 28, 2021)

Neill Duncan was a legend of New Zealand and Australian music. A founding member of the Braille Collective, Neill first came to prominence in the 1980’s with the pioneering Wellington exploratory jazz ensemble ‘Primitive Art Group’ which remains hugely influential to subsequent generations of adventurous musicians in Aotearoa. Neill’s time in Wellington was prolific and cemented him as one of the most creative musicians in the country – appearing in a huge number of groups such as The Four Volts, The Six Volts, Rabbitlock, The Front Lawn, The Spines and many more. Upon relocating to Auckland, Neill expanded his artistic output to include writing and producing musicals (Braindead – The Musical, with Mark Austin), performing in The Jews Brothers Band, with New Orleans jazz band the Blue Bottom Stompers, making a solo album of songs (Quiver), writing soundtracks, and acting in local television shows and theatre. Moving to Australia in 2002, Neill quickly established new bands and close musical relationships including the bands Darth Vegas, The Snaketown Rattlers and with guitarist John Stuart. In 2012 Neill lost an arm to cancer, which – rather than stalling his music-making– propelled him into a new phase of extraordinary art-making. Heralded as the world’s first one-armed tenor saxophonist, Neill’s ineffable humour and inspiring positivity came to the fore – he played saxophone and drums (together) in The Three Handed Beat Bandits, was invited to perform at the 2015 World Saxophone Conference in Strasbourg, became an advocate for recognition of the rights of disabled people to access the tools to fulfil their talents and emerged as an internationally recognised speaker for disability services. In 2016, Neill was invited to become part of the We’re the Superhumans Band for Channel 4 UK’s trailer for the Rio Paralympics and recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios . In 2020 Neill travelled back to Wellington to reunite with his compatriots from the 1980s and record an album of original tunes he had developed with John Stuart. The Devils Gate Outfit was formed to rehearse, perform and record Neill and John’s compositions and featured his close friends and Six Volts alumni Anthony Donaldson, David Donaldson and Steve Roche, with next-generation Wellington sonic adventurers Daniel Beban, Tom Callwood and Cory Champion completing the lineup. DGO has subsequently become the most dynamic and creative instrumental group in


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