Jeff Duff has always been a David Bowie fan. But then, what’s not to like about the man voted the most influential artist of the 20th century by his peers?
And though Duff is not easily impressed by fame and stardom, he does take off his hat to great songwriting, impressive musicianship and eclectic trendsetting creativity.
All these qualities will be on display when Ziggy, the Songs of David Bowie rolls into Sydney this weekend. On stage joining Duff to perform Bowie’s music are some of Australia’s leading singers and musicians including the fabulous iOTA, Steve Balbi and Brydon Stace. They will be backed by a band drawn from the ranks of such iconic bands as Silverchair, Noiseworks, Leo Sayer and Jimmy Barnes to perform a song list second to none.
The repertoire for the show includes a wide selection of songs from Bowie’s constantly-evolving career that spanned decades and produced such memorable albums as Space Oddity, Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Station to Station, Diamond Dogs, Let’s Dance, Young Americans, Aladdin Sane, Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) and Heroes.
Duff wanted to include the latest album, The Next Day, which went to the top of the UK charts last year but he said the others wouldn’t agree to it.
“Any musically minded person couldn’t possibly ignore that what Bowie’s done is amazing, even if it’s not your style of music,” he said.
“The Ziggy concert is an amazing outrageous experience. A really crazy night.”
Bowie has been a favourite of Duff’s since he was at art school in Melbourne so imagine his surprise when he discovered they were neighbours in Elizabeth Bay where Bowie owned an apartment in the Kincoppal building for ten years. Duff said Bowie, who he described as an incredibly intelligent human being, had named Elizabeth Bay as his favourite suburb in the whole world.
The two had previously met when Duff was in London from 1978 to 1988 where he frequently mixed with such stars of rock’n’roll as Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones.
Duff made a name for himself in the ‘80s in rock ensemble Kush and then in London where, known as “Duffo”, he was a prominent member of the new wave movement. Described as a “skinny white guy with a soulful voice”, Duff has 27 albums under his belt and has recently launched a new album, Fragile Spaceman.
Ziggy, the Songs of David Bowie has been touring now for since 2010 and punters never seem to get enough of it.
“Audiences go mental, the baby boomers reliving their youth really get into the spirit of things and a lot of people in the audience dress up too which is great.
“But their children also come along and we usually see quite a mix of generations on this tour. They come to hear classy stylish music that stands out because of the musicianship, powerful songwriting and other worldly lyrical content.”
Catch Ziggy, the Songs of David Bowie, on Friday August 15 at the Dee Why RSL and on Saturday August 16 at the Enmore Theatre, Enmore.