Jeff Duff’s Ziggy: The Songs of David Bowie show returns to NSW venues in June 2016—as reported by noise11.com.
5 dates announced so far—from Newcastle to Wollongong—including a station to station dash from the Thirroul show down south on a Friday up to the Enmore Theatre, Newtown, on the Saturday. See the “Hot stuff” sidebar for dates.
Going by previous Ziggy shows, Duff might well lead the band and feed the crowd with performances of Ashes to ashes, China girl, "Heroes", Let’s dance, Sorrow, Space oddity, Starman, Young Americans and the ever-astounding rendition by Duff of Wild is the Wind à la Bowie.
With Brydon Stace on board for the high-top singing, he might also pull out Under pressure. And with Steve Balbi on board, there’s a good chance of burning off on a blistering Moonage daydream.
There are plenty of ‘tubes out there to get an early fix of the show, as performed at the Sydney Opera House, the Enmore Theatre, et al., in previous years. See the duffstuff catalogue of Duff tubes here—links to 17 tubes from the Ziggy Shows, + 31 from the Bowie Unzipped shows. For example, for starters:
How to keep inspired ahead of the Duff-Bowie quest this May, as Duff offers 5 Bowie-themed performances across Sydney? How to keep the spirits up beyond the Budget and the winter? What to talk about with Sally and Harry all the way to Cronulla? Well hey man, let’s keep storming and clicking through the tubes and tracks …
Duff’s Bowie live performance tubes
From among about 1/4 million views of Duff-tubes, here are the latest stats (3rd May 2014) for tubes of Jeff Duff performing Bowie songs (as per the Duff-Rover) – from his Vanguard shows in 2007, to his 2013 show at the Sydney Opera House: sorted by views per days online:
(The more clicks per days online, the bigger/higher the bar. Actual view-counts shown next to the bar. For links, check-out the Duff tubes database here.)
Duff’s most popular Bowie concert performance to date: Wild is the wind, 2012, Sydney Opera House (1140 views as of posting):
[Oops …! We neglected to pick up this piece of Duff-Bowie stuff: A partial pick of Duff performing “Ziggy Stardust” as part of his Alien Sex Gods gigging. It mostly features Peter Northcote on guitar, rather than the Duff. But go for rare! It has 3,916 views after 2,825 days online, for a 1.39 ranking in 4th place up above.]
Get downing those protein pills and upping the carbs for this one: Jeff Duff & Co bang the Sydney Opera House with Bowie bonuses all night long this July.
Get a wham-bam of the 2012 show here, as reviewed by YT, or as youtubed here by Colin Hay (includes Wild is the wind). And then there’s the State Theatre Show, the Adelaide Show, the Enmore Theatre Show …
You’ve read enough!
Ready to rebel? Can afford a ticket? 18 July 2013 – 20 July 2013.
Can’t wait for the man? TV previews here: On the Channel 9 morning show:
and the Channel 7 morning show (a pre-fabbed mash-up of several previewed songs, not for epileptics, with Larry Emdur’s sugary overdubs, pending the corp’s own publication of the event):
See also a swag of fizzy quotables about nakedness and such in this Sydney Star Observer interview with Duff about the show.
Whether you’re a lover, brother or mother, get your Ziggy Opera House tickets here.
Ground Control is counting down – Sydney time – until Show Stopper #1, über alles at the Grande Maison d’Opera:
Trust Duffophiles that, on these Ziggy nights, at the Sydney Opera House, all minds will explode in unison by the highest blasts of Bowie art. Read about this September 2012 show and buy tickets here at the Sydney Opera House site. “Mind-blowing”, “all killers, no fillers” are words used to describe the Ziggy Shows thus far by Duff and associates.
The show has evolved from what Duff was doing in the 1990s, and touring in one-man form in NSW in the 2000s; you could have been tragically flicking, like me, through a Wyong newspaper, one day in about 2006, and come upon a photo and story re Duff covering Bowie and Sinatra songs, in costume, at the local footy club. There was a residency at Sydney’s The Vanguard in 2009, where the show came in four themes, a different one each weekend of October.
A bigger show, focussed on Bowie alone, integrating the best of these experiments, booked out Sydney’s State Theatre in 2010, when Duff was joined by Steve Balbi, Brydon Stace and Iota, ahead of a band of good repute. With reliable music and exciting vocal talents, and dance-steps, the show came in ever cooler costume changes across switches from arresting solos to all-out rock and funk band-heavy numbers.
Then there was the Enmore Theatre show: now a rock concert crafted with Duff, Balbi, Paul Capsis and Christa Hughes as the keys to the drama, each putting their own stamp on the show in sets of one or two solo leads of a brassy rock band. “Wild is the wind” by Paul Capsis any one? “Suffragette City” by Christa Hughes any one? And who do you think took the Mercury part in the fierce Duff-led “Under Pressure”?
Duff, Balbi and Stace next took the show to the Adelaide Festival this June, and now it’s onto the Opera House this September. But how has the show evolved? Where will Duff be when he’s supposed to be at the Sydney Opera House, for fruck’s sake, before a gaping crowd, all of us gapers on his side? “It will surely be beyond evolution” said an old Messiah, coming back for a tick.
What’s extra great about all these Bowie shows, and Duff’s recorded covers of Bowie, is that there’s never an effort to just mimic Bowie. Everyone, including we the audience, is in on the game – but we know the artists are referencing. It’s how they reference that matters, what we especially enjoy, seeing our glam needs nicely exploited by genuine talent.
Duff is “job ready” to put on a show at the Opera House, it’s an old stomping ground of his. Sydney gets prized again, this September 2012, with another Duff experience upon one of the heighest artistic stages of all ages. It’s like hearing the songs of Osiris off the top of the Sphinx. But that’s enough verbal filigree for now, enough emotional pornography for you – but how this news doth swell the Duffophile’s bosom with a hearty pride of passion.
When you have trouble communicating to yourself over a cup of coffee, with only a blank piece of paper in front of you – you just have to think of these people – like Duff, Balbi and Stace – who express themselves and communicate to us for a living, who have the courage to become significant in other people’s minds, day by day. There are thugs in the Cross who, in spite of their fists and barbs, communicate zero passion. On the other hand, there’s an essential Duff-Balbi-Stace Ziggy show to see.
And so the show has ended, the crowds dissipated under Duffological spell, his Mesmeric gestures, his capture and alarm of the crowd, from his now signature jog to “Let’s Dance” and his first steps into the space before us, his pean to the “Young Americano” and all that’s recalled by so many reviewers more articulate than me as a “loss for words,” “engrossing” … describing Duff’s very presence on stage, let alone his mastery of music and gift of song. On that point, no golden words are spent or rare enough. The second set appearance of Duff upped the spectacle – with bright Bowie-bedecked leotard (or some glam-Nipon smattering upon it), dark and shimmering stockings, high white boots, curt curled-back platinum hair, a Warholian vision; thankfully Duff did little more in movement than give us a slow slide across the stage, fully aware of his potential energy and the bomb he could unfurl. We were all especially aghast by Track 3: his gift of Bowie’s “Wild is the Wind” – and thereupon I spare my words and must truncate the superlatives for now …
and remark, in turn, on Steve Balbi. Balbi channels and accentuates the essential Ziggy themes of the mortal god, rock shaman, sacrificed messiah, romantic suicide-poet, blind Baptist preacher, from Morrison to Morrissey, a salve to common human weaknesses and wretchedness, absorbing the natural ills and turmoils of each member of the mob, giving licence to their right to party, stirring them into soul-healing ecstasy, sans any artifice of religiosity. At one point, at the end of a song, Balbi mentioned, or questioned, the greatness of being alive – and that was precisely what was on my thoughts and doubtlessly those of others at that time – the basic blessedness of being sensate, and sorry for the dead souls who could not be party to the magnificence of our present party. Balbi crafts iconics in his show before us – including moments with a long-stemmed rose, gifted to a rollicking audience member, and a certain kiss on the butt of Duff – quoting that rock-iconic oral gesture of Bowie upon Ronno. Balbi also offered the most startling lighting effect of the night – among several – what with his suit stripped off a mirror-ball.
Brydon Stace was the Young Americano Davido – funky, full of flair – right down to the hem of his pants – actually, a suit that some Duffologists suspect came out of the Duff closet itself. Stace also offered – with Duff stoking on the side – all the wails that earthlings could imagine a human voice to utter in taking the Freddie Mercury part in “Under Pressure”. Plain listening became all the more hallucinogenic one moment after the other, thanks to Stace punching powerfully through the pitches of this song.
It was also a boon to see some serious merchandising outside in the hall. Did you get the Ziggy Show badge, the Ziggy Show poster, Duff’s Fragile Spaceman CD (includes a pretty “Ziggy Stardust”), the Ziggy Show T-shirt, the Duff/Wilson Big Band CD – and sign the email list? I did – no losers here. Thanks, it seems, to EmpireTouring, for getting this side of the act together.
There are some youtubes of the event to be seen, like this Wild is the Wind, with the band in their Duffo-naut outfits straight from NASA.
There’s perhaps never been a time like this one of ours today when every Tom, Dick and Sally is trying to be a “genuine artist”. There are university courses you can do with government support to get you to the “emerging” stage. That ends you up lauded with all the respect we give to well-boiled eggs. The career clincher is on TV shows franchised across the world like hamburgers, where the rent-a-crowd gives you standing ovation for wailing out a note for some five seconds or so, then you smirk and curtsey with faint gratitude before the criticism of mega-super-überstars born yesterday: “I’m proud of all my failures and successes” you stubbornly pronounce to more applause.
A Duff show is essential, more than all television.
Not ephemera, not existentialism, is happening in the Australian City of Churches this June 2012 as Duffophiliacs descend upon Adelaide for the latest exposition of Jeff Duff’s Bowie-as-Ziggy Show. Citizens be strong and beware!
We’d arrest Duff and his diabolical duo (Balbi, Stace) here and now if we could jaunt into the future – for only then do they promise to show themselves. We are not too sure of what the Duffophiliacs will get up to when they roll into Adelaide, City of Churches, in zombie-file behind their leader, but, having consulted The Origin of Species, we must caution that it will be no ordinary primate social behaviour, and certainly no Teddybears’ Picnic.
For evidence of Ziggy-expressive Jeff Duff, with his stalwart comrades of the glam-bang, Steve Balbi and Brydon Stace, see how they flagrantly youtube grand piecemeal slices of their show here. The show is happening this time in 2012 at the Donny Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide at 9.00pm on June 20 (Wed), 22 (Fri), and 23 (Sat), and also 6.30pm on Jun 21 (Thurs).
Show-length is about 70 minutes too fast – unless Ziggy is forced to an encore. Police will require a large crowd agape at every show, all peeled-back eyes, rolled-wide mouths, and everyone climbing bare-leggedly over each others’ backs, for evidence to charge against this spectacle. Please also oblige your peace-keepers with Zulu trance-dancing in the aisles.
Here is a raw Duff and Balbi snap on 2UE radio – with Jack Housden on guitar and back-vocals. Go forth, hand-cuff and belly-flop upon these outlaws.
Here is news about the Ziggy Show at the Enmore in Sydney in 2011, when the Duff Gang escaped by the skin of their fangs from the Premier’s personal “Devil Diminution Squad”.
The Enmore Theatre [hosted Friday 14 Oct 2011|hosts this coming Friday] another Duffo-meets-Ziggy show – not only with Steve Balbi, but also with Paul “I sunk the Titanic” Capsis and the wham-bam-mam herself, Christa Hughes. Read about it at David Bowie’s own official site.
I’ve got my ticket. And all the A, B, C and up to G rows have gone. Hurry up you bloody lot or you’ll get another normal night again.
So how did the show go? You can see for yourself with some youtubes from kind patrons, starting with this one of Duff doing Changes. The guitar and sax solos were fevered. But is there anything left to see or hear after Duff’s opening “StarMan”, when he appears with golden angel wings and goes off on octavial flights, or his figure in a new leotard, a b/w horizontally striped number to give us an arresting Changes? Duff gave us “Heroes”, “Young American”, “Starman”, “China Girl” and “Let’s Dance”, plus Bowie’s part in “Under Pressure”. No Bowie of the late ’80s, ’90s or the zeroes made it to the stage; no “Loving the Alien” or “I’m Afraid of Americans”.
Balbi went for not one not two but three (or even four?) final calls of “Is there life on Mars …?” The audience gave him a standing ovation for that effort. Later, Balbi worked the stage, too, in Ziggy-as-lizard mode, climbing up ropes and sliding down peep-holes, living out the fantasies of a thousand mutant lives. Hey, and he didn’t even have to go falsetto upon those high B-flats. (Unlike the X-Factor’s unordinary Declan.) Balbi does it here, at the very concert. Is that the audience holding its breath? Balbi worked hard to make every moment essential-x-exciting. He summoned up Ziggy-Geist and took it at least a galactical way forward.
Paul Capsis snarled his way through his choice of Ziggy songs, then adding “Wild is the Wind” to his “Suffragette City,” with Hagen-esque wails to top it off.
A happy coincidence: with no-one to my left, the unknown lady to my right was somehow compelled to tell me, during the intermission, that she thought Jeff Duff was the best performer so far. Why? I tried to continue the conversation as best I could. It turned out that she knew nothing of Duff’s own work.
There is so much more to say about this night: The generous and genial Duffo-Hughes rendition of “Under Pressure”; the rumour all about that the “Grande Dame” herself was in the audience; the lady in her 80s, in the audience, more glamorous than Greta Garbo in “Grand Hotel”; Duff neatly handling a costume mistake – his falling fly in his opening numbers – “a work in progress” he explained, rectifying it; and meeting Rose, my long-time some-time friend from Hobart, up here herself, seeing Duffo like me, and pressing me to take a Front Row Seat (those empty ones near the speakers …). And I won’t say that this was all “such stuff as dreams are made of” – for on this night of Duffo and friends, reality was the total cake. Until another abnormal night!
+ Jeff Duff interviewed by Jane Hutcheon on ABC-TV’s One-Plus-One June 2, 3 & 4 · streaming here
+ SEE Jeff Duff starring as a special guest @ Hidden Sydney Wed 7th & Sat 10th June · more here
+ SEE Jeff Duff as panelist discussing Derek Jarman’s iconoclastic genre-buster Jubilee Mon 12 June as part of Vivid and Sydney Film Festivals @ The Hub Upstairs, Town Hall · more here
+ Keep an eye out on the iconic Coca Cola sign in Kings Cross for sign of Jeff Duff · in case you can’t make it, or stand out in the rain, this Duffologist has this for you:
+Long and Winding Weekend: Duffo pays homage to the Beatles among other singers and musicians incl. Jak Housden, Harry Brus & Rex Goh,over three nights: Fri 9 & Sat 10 June Beaches Hotel, Thirroul; Sun 11 June, Hawkesbury Hotel, Windsor·more here
Congratulations on the JDS site. It really is amazing, comprehensive and accurate … and very well written. Your research is sublime … Thank you for all the hard work … / You continue to impress me with your handsomely constructed and informative insights into ‘Duffoworld’— J. Duff [ 2011/07/07 & 2012/05/17]