Des de Moor
Dirks Hoekje.

Personal background, DJ work, writing
Taken, oddly enough, at Berlin Zoo during an evening event. Photo: Ian Harris

Berlin -- yes, that's Lewishamstraße off Kufürstendam
Photo: Ian Harris

Do I look like I mean business? Photo: Jo Minton

My partner Ian Photo: Jason Eden

A bit more about me...

Relaxing at home.
Photo: Ian Harris

I was born near Ipswich, Suffolk, in 1961. My father is from Amsterdam and my mother from Kent, and I was brought up in Hertford, where my parents lived for 26 years before moving to just outside Canterbury in 1997. I have a sister, Adèle, and a nephew, Sunil, born in 1993.

I've been in London since 1986, almost entirely in Deptford in the London borough of Lewisham, except for a brief spell in Camberwell. Despite a rather low reputation, the area, once just on the edge of Kent, has its own character and history, with links to Marlowe, Pepys, Evelyn, Peter the Great and a great maritime tradition of docks, shipbuilding and the Navy which, although long vanished, has left unmistakeable traces.

I met my partner, Ian, who is eleven years younger than me, in Summer 1998: he was brought up in Witham, Essex, but now lives with me, and works as a civil servant in Westminster. I met him through the internet in the days when he worked for a record company: he impressed me then and I've continued to marvel at him ever since.

I'm still on good terms with my former partner Jim, whom I've known since 1985, and I consider myself privileged to have a number of other good friends.

I have a degree in linguistics and philosophy, but I've never really used it directly for work. I've not been able to sustain myself entirely on music either: for many years I scraped by as a sound engineer, and I've also done bits of prose writing and journalism (see below) here and there. Since November 2000 I've had a 'proper job' -- my first since 1983 -- working as an information officer for The Ramblers' Association at their national office in Vauxhall.

I'm interested in politics, and though no longer active am still crazy enough to believe there is a point to changing the world as well as understanding it. Unsurprisingly considering my job, I also enjoy walking, and I'm also fascinated by other forms of travel and public transport. I also have more than a passing interest in films and TV drama. I'm a vegetarian, though mainly because I haven't eaten meat for so long I can't see it as food anymore. And although I hate getting drunk, I like speciality beers.

Writing and journalism
Wearing another hat, I have a regular page reviewing bottled beers for CAMRA newspaper What's Brewing as well as the occasional feature article and pub walk. I also contribute regularly to the Ramblers' Association magazine walk, and in recent years I've contributed to outdoors magazine tgo, the timeoutdoors.com website, the Oxford Bottled Beer Database and the Internet Movie Database.

I've been doing prose writing and journalism since my schooldays; by the early 1980s I was involved in a couple of 'little magazine' arts projects, HPJ and Bare Nibs, and a community newspaper, Hertford Independent Press, which at one point seemed to be mainly written by me. In the mid-1980s I was involved in producing several issues of the radical Lesbian and Gay Youth magazine, and also contributed to Gay's the Word Review. Over the years I've written on topics such as music, sexual politics and sexuality, walking, travel and beer, for outlets as diverse as Living Marxism/LM, the msn website and Sandmutopian Guardian. For a while I was 'technical editor' of a US-based SM webzine, Leather Online.

...I am what I play
Until the end of September 2006 I dj'd regularly on Saturday nights at the 100 Club, Oxford Street, London W1, and I still spin the discs occasionally elsewhere. I'm very proud to have a connection with the 100 Club, steeped as the place is in the legends and history of popular music.

People tell me I'm the most eclectic DJ they've heard: at the 100 Club we're quite old-fashioned with lots of 40s and 50s swing, jive and R&B since this is meant to be a swingdance night, but I also mix in soul jazz, lounge/easy listening, ska, Latin jazz and salsa, pop, funk, disco, exotica and 'world' music. I'm not well up on modern electronic dance music and don't like most of it very much so I don't play it, and I must admit I don't play much modern stuff anyway -- but I'll slip in the odd indie tune here and there. Fundamentally I'm interested in playing music of quality, without worrying about what category it's in or whether or not it's 'cool'.

Here are a few typical 100 Club spins:

  • Clarence Frogman Henry: Ain't Got A Home
  • The Skatalites: Ska-ra-van (Caravan)
  • Andy Williams: House of Bamboo
  • Louis Jordan: I'll Die Happy
  • LaVern Baker & Jimmy Ricks: You're the Boss
  • Rolling Stones: Sympathy for the Devil
  • Gloria Jones: Tainted Love
  • La Lupe: Fever
  • Blue Harlem: Harry Diamond
  • Chet Baker: Look for the Silver Lining
Most of the music that's the very closest to my heart isn't dance music, so I generally don't play it except sometimes as beginnings and endings...on the other hand, at nights when it is appropriate to bung on Piaf, Dietrich or Brel then I don't hesitate! All other engagements considered.

 On this page
As well as some biographical and personal background there are summaries of my work as a writer and journalist and DJ.

 On other pages
Most of this site is about my musical work. Click here for an overview and introduction, read the biography or select Pirate Jenny for information about my musical cabaret and chanson club.

100 Club
Drill Hall
My eBay member's page listing items I'm currently selling.
Fondation International Jacques Brel
Internet Movie Database
Irregular Records
London borough of Lewisham
Oxford Bottled Beer Database
My partner Ian's MySpace page
Ramblers' Association
tgo magazine
Vortex jazz club
My Wikipedia entry
Zythos (Belgian CAMRA)

You'll find links to musical cabaret and chanson performers' sites on the Pirate Jenny page.