Armed with only their voices, a sly connection of hats and facial hair, The Spooky Men’s Chorale has single-handedly redefined the world of men’s singing.
With over 680 gigs since 2001 to a total audience of more than 280,000, this most infectiously funny and striking of chorales returns to Melbourne Recital Centre to celebrate its 19th year of music-making and latest release.
Founded in the blue Mountains of N.S.W. by Christchurch born spookmeister Stephen Taberner, the Chorale rapidly became a darling of the folk festival scene and has toured major venues and festivals in the U.K. and Europe. Fifteen magnificent, craggy specimens of latter-day masculinity, burdened by a vast, loveable incomprehension and dignified with cavernous vocal chords, The Spooky Men’s Chorale employ a devastating combination of beauty and stupidity to comment on the unsolvable paradoxes of being a man.
Its Melbourne Recital Centre concert this June sees the Chorale perform a combination of Georgian table songs, immaculate ballads and tawdry anthems such as crowd favourite ‘Don’t stand between a man and his tool’. The concert also features songs from the Chorale’s new release – its seventh studio album – aptly titled Welcome to the Second Half, which promises a good dose of the silly, absurdly beautiful and downright funny songs for which the group is renowned.
Stephen Taberner explains:
‘The Spooky Men’s Chorale – your fearless investigators into all things physical, metaphysical, and cheese-related – is returning to inspire your ear-things with a collection of new harmonies, man-chords and grand buffoonery. This album will explore some deeper things but unfortunately, we could not fully eradicate the silliness, so you may find the beauty and thoughtfulness balanced out by the fact it’s being sung by a bunch of fools. Nice fools.’
All jokes aside, for first-timers, an evening with The Spooky Men’s Chorale is like nothing else ever experienced. The Chorale is capable of rendering audiences moist-eyed with mute appreciation or haplessly gurgling with merriment – that’s its collective super power.
‘It is spooky. You’re listening to what sounds like archangels singing ethereal harmonies. But it’s a bunch of men from The Blue Mountains, with a wise guy out front wearing a furry deerstalker hat.’ Courier Mail
‘A tsunami of Georgian male voice polyphony’ The Scotsman (U.K.)
‘Do see them live – it all makes perfect sense then – or does it? Certainly, once seen they are never forgotten! Beautiful singing, very sharp and witty lyrics.’ BBC Radio 2 (U.K.)
The Spooky Men’s Chorale
Thursday 20 June 7.30pm
Elisabeth Murdoch Hall (One hour & 50-mins incl. interval)
A reserve $50
B reserve $46
Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre
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