Des de Moor

"I never knew there were so many sitar players in Beckenham" - David Bowie
Click here for a larger pic showing front and back covers of the CD booklet Darkness and Disgrace
Des de Moor and Russell Churney play songs from their show.
Buy Darkness and Disgrace from Amazon

Cover photo: Theo Cohen

1. Future Legend/
Music: Richard Rodgers 1:09
Spoken word: Des; Piano: Russell
2. Diamond Dogs 3:52
from Diamond Dogs 1974
Lead voice, cowbell: Des; Piano, backing voice: Russell
3. It's No Game 3:04
from Scary Monsters
First lead voice, piano: Russell; Second lead voice, spoken word: Des
4. The Man Who Sold The World 2:43 Click here to visit the Downloads page for an MP3 file of this song.
from The Man Who Sold The World 1970
Lead and wordless voices, acoustic guitars, electric bass, claves, shaker, guïro: Des; Backing and wordless voices: Russell
5. Look Back In Anger Music: David Bowie, Brian Eno 1:53
from Lodger 1979
First lead voice, chorus voice, piano: Russell; Second lead voice, chorus voice: Des
6. We are the Dead 5:53
from Diamond Dogs 1974
Lead voice: Des; Piano, backing voice: Russell
7. Lady Stardust 3:14 Click here to visit the Downloads page for an MP3 file of this song.
from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars 1972
Lead voice: Des; Piano, backing voice: Russell; Backing voice: Barb Jungr
8. London Boys 2:48
Single 1966
Lead voice: Des; Piano, backing voice: Russell
9. Boys Keep Swinging Music: David Bowie, Brian Eno 1:49
from Lodger 1979
First lead voice, jingle stick: Des; Piano, second lead voice: Russell
10. The Bewlay Brothers 5:07
from Hunky Dory 1971
Lead voice, second acoustic guitar: Des; First acoustic guitar, piano, backing voice: Russell
11. Be My Wife 1:02
Lead voice: Des; Piano, backing voice: Russell
12. Always Crashing in the Same Car 2:30
Lead voice, piano: Russell; Acoustic guitars, backing voice: Des
13. Be My Wife (Reprise) 0:46
from Low 1977
Lead voice, acoustic guitar: Des; Piano, backing voice: Russell
14. Life on Mars? 3:25
from Hunky Dory 1971
Lead voice: Des; Piano, backing voice: Russell
15. Please Mr Gravedigger 3:04
from David Bowie 1967
Voice, sound effects: Des
16. Station to Station 2:50
from Station to Station 1976
Lead voice, jingle stick, Korg X5-D percussion: Des; Piano, backing voice: Russell
17. All the Madmen 3:43
from The Man Who Sold The World 1970
Lead voice, acoustic guitar: Des; Piano, backing voice: Russell
18. The Buddha of Suburbia 3:47
from Buddha of Suburbia 1993
Lead voice, acoustic guitar, electric bass, handclaps: Des; Piano, backing/second lead voice, handclaps: Russell
19. "Heroes"/Kopf bis Fuss Music: David Bowie, Brian Eno/Friedrich Hollaender 2:35
from "Heroes" 1977
Lead and harmony voices: Des; Piano, harmony voices: Russell
20. I have not been to Oxford Town Music: David Bowie, Brian Eno 4:38
from "1.Outside" 1995
Lead voice: Des; Piano, harmony voice: Russell
21. Time 5:29
from Aladdin Sane 1973
Voice, claves: Des; Piano: Russell
22. All the Young Dudes 3:26
Mott the Hoople single 1972
Lead and backing voices, acoustic guitar: Des; Piano, backing voices: Russell; Backing voice: Barb

All words by David Bowie.
All music by David Bowie unless otherwise shown.


Darkness and Disgrace is the brand new album from Des de Moor and Russell Churney, featuring twenty-two inspired versions of songs from the pen of David Bowie. As the title suggests, it takes songs from Bowie's formative years, such as the underrated classic 'London Boys' right through to latterday works such as 'The Buddha of Suburbia', charting not only the development of Bowie's various themes and lyrical motifs, but also the construction of one of the most considerable bodies of work in rock and roll. Darkness and Disgrace simultaneously throws into relief the skill of Des de Moor and Russell Churney as powerful interpreters of one of pop's most absorbing artists.

Darkness and Disgrace began life as a music theatre piece, an intimate and emotionally dynamic musical excursion, tracing Bowie's oeuvre from its roots in the soul-soaked, creatively explosive London of the 1960s and onwards, through a landscape peopled by mod proto Anthony Newley wannabes, sexually-ambivalent science fiction apocalypse prophets, Brel-fixated trash theatre queens, drug-stupefied Cold War romantics, pre-millennial art murderers and wild-eyed aliens from Bromley. The stage show has drawn acclaim from critics and audiences alike, with several London runs and a stint at the Edinburgh Fringe, as well as numerous touring dates. David Bowie himself has described a recording of the show as a "real ear-opener"!

Darkness and Disgrace is one of the most intriguing and stimulating examinations / reappraisals of any artist, recasting Bowie's work in a contemporary English Chanson milieu. It's also terrific fun, and marks an intriguing comparative study when put alongside Bowie's current return to the music mainstream. The album also features two guest backing vocals from the show's director, Barb Jungr, herself a critically acclaimed singer and interpreter of chanson and musical cabaret material.

"A must-have for Bowie fans -- and diverting for non-devotees too" - Record Collector

Des de Moor and Russell Churney are available for interview and radio session to promote the album's release. Please call Indiscreet PR on 020 8847 0784 or email info@indiscreetpr.com for further information.

Drawing by Robb Johnson from De val van Icarus by Pieter Breugel I

Sleeve notes
Darkness and Disgrace is one of those ideas which at first glance might seem puzzling and dissonant, but like one of longtime Bowie sideman Mike Garson's chord voicings, it ends up being wholly right and appropriate. David Bowie is, after all, a bona-fide British pop star, while our own musical trajectories have taken us further and further away from the world of commercial popular music. These days, Des is an English chansonnier and Russell a jazz/blues pianist with a line in comedy and cabaret, and we met each other through performing work that on the surface appears very different from, say, The Man Who Sold The World, Lodger or 1.Outside.

But back in the 1970s we were both Bowie fans, and David's work has left its traces and signposts: theatre, storytelling, science fiction, music hall, mod, Jacques Brel, soul and R&B, the importance of the well-turned lyric, the extraordinary pianism of Garson... Years later, it only took a chance remark from Des that he'd once thought of doing a show entirely of Bowie songs and the current project assembled itself almost before our eyes with the utmost sense of logic.

Barb Jungr, a close friend and colleague, offered to direct the show, which evolved into Darkness and Disgrace. On stage, it's a music theatre piece in which Bowie songs in stripped-down arrangements are interspersed with spoken texts, quotes from interviews and dramatised excerpts from other works linked to the songwriter's career, such as Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land.

The show began life at the Rosemary Branch Theatre, London N1 in April 2000 and has since been through several incarnations, including a run at the Edinburgh Fringe. If nothing else, it would be excellent proof of the old adage that a good song needs only a voice and piano or guitar to be effective, but it also seems to have struck a chord both with devoted Bowiephiles seeing something new in well-loved work, and people who were put off by aspects of Bowie's image without recognising what a great songwriter he was, and is, beneath the Aladdin Sane flashes and the Kirlian haloes.

For us, of course, it was partly that image that attracted us to Bowie's work back in our teenage years. We're both from families of immigrants and asylum seekers, and grew up with a sense of never quite belonging, being misfits and outsiders, a sense compounded by the fact that both of us were also clever, bookish, solitary, sensitive boys with no aptitude for sports whatsoever. Not surprising that we found Bowie's concerns with alienation, the trademark "man-from-Mars schtick", so appealing.

Then there was the sexual ambiguity, such a major factor in Bowie's early 70s persona, and of obvious appeal to a gay man who seems straight (Des), and to a straight man who is often mistaken for gay (Russell).

There was his sense of theatre: the bewildering parade of masks, guises and personae, the ease with which he slipped from one to the next, and the glee with which he courted controversy.

And then, of course, there was the work itself. We'd both been captivated by the sheer quality of the writing, the lyrical intelligence, the unashamed literary sensibility and resistance to accusations of pretentiousness, and a breadth of reference unprecedented in the world of the three-minute pop song. And the musical bravery: the compulsive innovation, the lack of complacency, his refusal to revisit old ground.

With this in mind, we couldn't have been more chuffed and slightly overwhelmed when David Bowie himself commented, after hearing a tape of the show: "To hear these songs in such a personalised context is a real ear-opener. I listened as though someone else had written them." As songwriters ourselves, we also recognise the slightly spooky way that a good song seems to take on a life of its own, independent of the person who spawned it. We hope you will also find something fresh and unexpected in our versions that reveals new layers in these unique and masterful songs.

Russell Churney and Des de Moor, London, August 2003

 See also
Downloads: some tracks from this album are available as MP3s.
Recordings: index of this and other recordings
Darkness and Disgrace: the live show
About me: an overview of my work

Barb Jungr's website
David Bowie official site
Lyrics to David Bowie songs online at www.teenagewildlife.com
Search for David Bowie recordings on Amazon.

Irregular Records website
Proper Music Distribution website
Indiscreet PR website

Russell Churney voice, grand piano,
acoustic guitar
Des de Moor voice, acoustic guitar, electric bass, percussion
Barb Jungr guest voice

Russell plays all the piano; sings lead vocal on 12, joint lead vocals on 3, 5 and 9, and most other harmony and backing vocals; and plays the first guitar on 10. Des sings all other lead and some of the harmony and backing vocals and plays all other instruments. Barb sings backing vocals on 7 and 22.

Recorded by Richard Lee at the 100 Club, London W1, June 2003 and by Des at Pirate Jenny's Studio, London SE14, July and August 2003, entirely on digital hard drive recorders. Mixed by Des at PJs. Mastered by Alan Little at Cybersound, London SE8. DDD.

Photos by Theo Cohen, Jo Minton and Total Blam-Blam. Illustration by Robb Johnson. Packaging artwork by Simon Smith Associates.

Special thanks to Cecilia Darker, Cleo Sylvestre and Finnuala McNulty at the Rosemary Branch; Chris Umney; Mark and Susan at Bowienet; Mike Leigh; Dillie Keane; Adam Longworth; Chris George; Lester Richards at Pentameters; Charlotte Williams; Jeff Horton and Richard Horton at the 100 Club; Ian Harris; and David Bowie.

Words and music by David Bowie
Arranged by Russell Churney and Des de Moor
Directed for the stage by Barb Jungr
Album produced by Des de Moor

A Pirate Jenny Production for Irregular Records, PO Box 72, Hounslow TW5 0YB, UK. IRR 051.
(p) Des de Moor 2003. All Rights Reserved.

Distributed by Proper Music Distribution

Yes they called him the streak...
Photo: Jo Minton; Photoshop editing: Simon Smith