Based in the Blue Mountains of NSW making women weep is one of the The Spooky Men’s Chorale aims in life, along with laying to waste the land in which they are travelling and soon that will be a national tour around their home country, Oz.
This highly theatrical totally weird and wonderful group of fifteen craggy men singers, is just about ready to embark on a national tour of Australia from April 26 to June 28, 2017, their most ambitious to date. Following that they will take on the UK.
If you haven’t yet encountered The Spooky Men’s Chorale and their sort of dry wit, wacky humour and sometime eloquence before, they are perhaps best described in their own words as…
… ‘a vast, rumbling, steam powered and black clad behemoth… capable of rendering audiences moist eyed with mute appreciation or haplessly gurgling with merriment’.
Must say personally I love that influencers include ‘… Georgian men, Sardinian goat herders, Obelix the Gaul, Trog the Visigoth, the Red Army Choir and co-incidentally, that guy in the seventeenth row’! What fun.
They are certainly commentators on the absurdity and grandeur of the modern Australian male, as ‘armed only with their voices, a sly collection of hats and facial hair, and a twinkle in the eye’ they attempt to storm the citadels of silliness in cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Bendigo, Adelaide, Perth, Newcastle, Wollongong and Brisbane.
For those in the know this critically acclaimed group do have drop dead gorgeous voices and all that testosterone brought together is helping to turn their joint effort into stylish and memorable musical performances.
Founded in 2001 by Christchurch born Spookmeister Stephen Taberner, The Spooky Men’s Chorale offers vocal commentary on the paradoxes involved these days with just being a man. They have won many friends and influenced others while impressing the hell out of those they encounter.
Now considered darlings of the folk festival circuit, the ABC and those places in England and Europe where they have already laid low with their ‘immaculate ballads and tawdry anthems’ and songs that comment on their ‘fav body parts’, you will be completely won over by the warmth of their smarmy smiles and silly songs.
The Irish Times reported after their visit there they were ‘High camp, epic folly – probably the best programming choice of the entire summer festival circuit”.
In Glasgow the Herald noted you were required to ‘Stand back and admire the beautifully sung anarchy”.
BBC Radio 2, UK in London commented we should “… see them live – it all makes perfect sense then …or does it?! Certainly once seen they are never forgotten!’
In the UK/Europe The Spooky Men’s Chorale have appeared at major festivals including Tonder (Denmark), Malmo (Sweden), Cambridge, Broadstairs, Wickham, Camp Bestival, Towersey, Shrewsbury, and Edinburgh Fringe.
Theatrical venues have included Union Chapel (London), St David’s Hall (Cardiff), The Philharmonic (Liverpool), Colston Hall (Bristol), the Sheldonian (Oxford) and Sage Gateshead.
Standout appearances amongst their 500+ gigs in Australia since 2006 have included WOMADelaide, The Great Escape Festival, Woodford, Cobargo, Port Fairy, Blue Mountains and Bellingen festivals with ABC TV appearances including The Mix, Spicks and Specks, and The New Inventors Grand Final.
They have performed at the Hobart Festival of Voices, National Portrait Gallery (Canberra), Blue Mountains Theatre (Springwood), Kyneton Town Hall, Church of All Nations (Melbourne), Camelot Lounge (Sydney) and the Whitlam Institute, Parramatta.
They draw on historical musical and theatrical performances for their programs, and their repertoire contains often stupid songs in the vein of Monty Python, although always guaranteed to put a smile on your dial.
The Spooky Men’s Chorale provide sensitive renditions of music chosen from the rich traditions of vocal polyphony; the style of simultaneously combining a number of parts, each forming an individual melody and harmonizing with each other.
The audience are invited to let their hair down and enjoy their outstanding man anthems, not so much shimmeringly perfect, but as humans connecting with their singing in a very deeply resonant way.
These spooky men like to think of themselves as having being around since the times legends of the fanciful kind were born. And while originally a legend was understood to be an illustrative story, one that conveyed a profound spiritual truth in an attempt to explain the inexplicable, it should be said it is always within the limitation of our humanity.
Basically, The Spooky Men’s Chorale are a motley bunch of middle aged, and some older men from the mountains, who are predominantly singing silly, sensitive and sometimes sensationally uplifting songs, some of which will make you laugh ensuring that you will have a jolly good time attending one of their concerts.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2017
Australian National Tour
April 26 TO June 28, 2017
United Kingdom Tour 2017
July 7 to August 5, 2017
Watch the Trailer