Thunder roars as Lancaster 80s band make comeback for music festival

Derek Thunder Jackson
Derek Thunder Jackson

There’ll be a huge blast from the past for Lancaster music lovers this weekend when a popular city band from the 1980s reunite for a big show on the castle stage.

It could be said that The Citizen’s Band have a lot to answer for in terms of where we are today with the music festival. Lead singer Derek ‘Thunder’ Jackson inspired a young Ben Ruth - creator and coordinator of Lancaster Music Festival - with his wild performances on stage at The Sugarhouse circa 1984-87.

Derek Thunder Jackson

Derek Thunder Jackson

Ben describes Thunder Jackson as a “genuine master of the riff” with an “electrifying” stage presence.

So it’s fitting that The Citizen’s Band will play a one off reunion performance this Friday night, October 14, live on the castle stage from 7pm.

Multi-instrumentalist Derek recalls that Ben would go to see the band’s gigs in the 1980s, and the pair became good friends.

Derek, now 69, later went on to form Rockhouse, and more recently Dirty Hands, while The Citizens Band made a comeback for a few years in the 2000s. The band features Derek on vocals and harmonica, Steve “Golly” Goulding on guitar, Gary Pugh on bass and Rod Cairns on drums, the latter being the only non-original member. Derek said: “Ben once said somewhere that I’d been his ‘performance inspiration’ - I was a lot wilder then!

Golly Goulding and Derek Jackson in The Citizens Band in 1980

Golly Goulding and Derek Jackson in The Citizens Band in 1980

“Anyway he’d always wanted to put us on at LMF.

“But one way or another we couldn’t make it happen.

“By now the band had folded and Golly et al went off to play with Paul Hayes. So after six years we’ve reformed for this.”

Derek, from Halton, said this would probably be one of his last gigs. Dirty Hands will play their final gig at his local The Greyhound in Halton on October 28, although Derek did add “never say never”.

Lancaster five piece Dead Man’s Hand follow The Citizens Band, and you can catch Ben Ruth and The Convulsions at The Borough on Friday, 9pm and The John O’ Gaunt at 5pm on Saturday and 1pm on Monday.