Des de Moor
Press Cuttings: Darkness and Disgrace

Newbury Weekly News 24 June 2005
Photo: Theo Cohen

Des De Moor at The Blue Hours

By rights last week’s Blue Hours should have been a disaster. We’d heard all the singers before, Glastonbury and Wimbledon were on the box and the heat! But the omens were all wrong – this, the last cabaret of the season, turned out to be one of the best.

From the start, everything clicked. The lighting was a little bit sharper than normal and the sound – which can pose problems when you have to control a voice as powerful as Barb Jungr’s – was absolutely perfect...Barb herself was buzzing with what life-style counsellors call positive energy...

You had to pity poor Des de Moor trying to follow that, particularly as his last set at The Blue Hours was attacked by gremlins. This time he was performing a sample of Darkness and Disgrace – a two-hander piece of music theatre he and partner Russell Churney have performed at The Edinburgh Festival featuring the work of David Bowie.

Therein lay the problem. How do you better Bowie? The answer is you don’t try. This was no karaoke impersonation of the star but an attempt to strip down the songs to their bare essentials and find the early Bowie of the street theatre years. De Moor eschewed most of the hits, save for Life on Mars and Heroes. This he underscored by slices of Falling in Love Again - which sounds weird but it worked. To finish, All the Young Dudes was done as a singalong, with everyone by this time oblivious to the humidity and the passing storms. It was a great finish to a great season of The Blue Hours – the most successful contemporary arts event in Newbury.

Fred Redwood

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