Jeff Duff

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Jeff Duff
Jeff Duff 2011.jpg
Background information
Birth name Geoff Stephen Duff
Also known as Duffo
Cyril Trotts
Born 1956
Origin Melbourne, Australia
Genres jazz-rock, glam/pop
Years active 1971–present
Associated acts Kush
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

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 show 'Ziggy' is a portrayal of the music of David Bowie, who he met while Bowie was a Sydney resident.[1]

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 45000 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]

the quote above (by Ian McFarlane), and Jeff's original song titles (John and Betty Go to LA; Give Me Back Me Brain; Here Come the Freaks) demonstrates his varied performance personae, and satire as a feature of his music. His 1999 compilation, Martian Girls Are Easy (more satire) 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 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 is a regular performer on Australian television and continues to headline some of Australia's leading Jazz festivals including Melbourne Jazz Festival, Manly Jazz Festival, Darling Harbor Jazz Festival, Casino Jazz, Thredbo Jazz Festival, Noosa Jazz Festival[citation needed].

In 2005, Duff performed a sold-out season of this show at the Opera House Studio in Sydney. He has since performed the show in Melbourne, Queensland and recently performed a sold out season of the show at the 2006 Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

Duff performs regularly at Sydney's premier live music venues including the Basement & the Vanguard alternating shows between his different combos. More at home on stage than off, Duff is constantly creating new performance challenges. He juxtaposes his sophisticated twenty piece Big Band swing repertoire with the raunchy glam rock of his Alien Sex Gods shows.

Recent projects[edit]

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 & recording a new show based on the music of his favourite singer Scott Walker[citation needed].

Jeff's direct homage to Bowie is a show called 'ZIGGY'. which is a very successful concert production featuring members of Jimmy Barnes band, Noiseworks & Leo Sayer's band[citation needed]. The ZIGGY show is scheduled to perform at the Sydney Opera House in 2010 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.'[8]

Further reading[edit]


External links[edit]