Jeff Duff

Geoff "Jeff" Stephen Duff, or Duffo, (born 1956) is an Australian singer/cabaret performer in the tenor range, who in his career has used various personae, wardrobe, and satire as features of his performance. Duff's shows 'Ziggy' and 'Bowie Unzipped' are portrayals of the music of David Bowie, who he met while Bowie was a Sydney resident.[1]

Jeff Duff
Background information
Birth nameGeoff Stephen Duff
Also known asDuffo
Cyril Trotts
OriginMelbourne, Australia
Genresjazz-rock, glam/pop
Years active1971–present
Associated actsKush
Jeff Duff Survival Band
Jeff Duff & the Duffers
Jeff Duff Orchestra
Jeff Duff & Friends
Duff & Rhodes
Prophets of Groove
Jeff Duff Stuff
Jeff Duff & the Prophets
Alien Sex Gods
Jeff Duff Band

Jeff Duff began his musical career in Melbourne in 1971 as lead singer of jazz-rock fusion band Kush (1971–75)[2]


Kush was formed with Jeff Duff on vocals, John Santos (aka Montesante) and Colin Chapman on trumpet, Ron Anderson on piano and saxophone, Stephen Ball on keyboards, Tom Cowburn on guitar, harmonica and backing vocals, John Ellis on clarinet, flute and saxophone, Rob Matthews on bass guitar, and Graham McDonald on drums. They released covers of "Peter Gunn", "MacArthur Park" and "Walk on the Wild Side" as well as originals such as "(Livin' on) Easy Street"

Kush are notable for performing to 45,000 people at the 1974 Sunbury Pop Festival, "conceived and promoted as Australia's Woodstock".

Duff relocated to London in 1978 as "the waif-like androgynous oddball Duffo"[3] His keyboard player and arranger for most of this period was Sev Lewkowicz.

At this time his single, "Give Me Back Me Brain" reached No. 60 on the UK mainstream charts in 1979[4]

Powderworks issued Duff's third album, "Bob the Birdman", in Australia."[5]

His 1999 compilation, "Martian Girls Are Easy" is a 40-track, double CD anthology covering Duff's solo career from 1978, described by music historian, Ian McFarlane as showing "the satirical, new wave origins of 'Give Me Back Me Brain', through the soulful classical arrangement of Lou Reed's 'Walk on the Wild Side', dipping into funk on the way and then back to his glam roots"[6]

Jeff Duff appears as 'Secta' in the Australian science Fiction movie Sons of Steel, released in 1989, featuring Duff's single, 'Here Come the Freaks'.[7]


Duff has performed on Australian television [8] and has headlined the Melbourne Jazz Festival, Manly Jazz Festival, Darling Harbor Jazz Festival, Casino Jazz, Thredbo Jazz Festival, Noosa Jazz Festival, & the 2006 Adelaide Cabaret Festival..

Duff performs regularly at Sydney's live music venues. He juxtaposes his sophisticated twenty piece Big Band swing repertoire with the raunchy glam rock of his Alien Sex Gods shows.

Recent projects

Duff's Ground control to Frank Sinatra project merges the styles of David Bowie and Frank Sinatra. The show features, dancers, singers, audiovisuals and a nine-piece band. Ground control to Frank Sinatra Duff's stage show has produced two albums: Ground Control to Frank Sinatra and Lost in the Stars.

Duff is currently writing and recording a new show based on the music of his favourite singer Scott Walker.

His direct homage to Bowie is a show called 'ZIGGY'. which is a concert production featuring members of Jimmy Barnes band, Noiseworks & Leo Sayer's band. The ZIGGY show performed at the Sydney Opera House in 2010 [9] and September 2012.

Duff released his tell-all memoir This Will Explain Everything through Melbourne Books in 2016. After reading the book Alan Howe in The Australian newspaper, said that 'Duff was a musical pioneer and perhaps the most fearless artist in the country.'[10]

Further reading

  • McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 5 April 2004. Retrieved 4 January 2010. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  • Spencer, Chris; Zbig Nowara, Paul McHenry with notes by Ed Nimmervoll (2002) [1987]. The Who's Who of Australian Rock. Noble Park, Vic.: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1.[11] Note: [on-line] version established at White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd in 2007 and was expanded from the 2002 edition.
  • Duff, Jeff (2016) 'This Will Explain Everything' (Melbourne Books, Melbourne)


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