The Spooky Men's Chorale
The Spooky Men’s Chorale is a vast, rumbling, steam powered and black clad vocal behemoth, seemingly accidentally capable of rendering audiences moist eyed with mute appreciation or haplessly gurgling with merriment. Based on the twin pillars of grand foolishness and the quest for the perfect subwoofer-rattling boofchord, the Spooky Men seek to commentate on the absurdity and grandeur of the modern male armed only with their voices, a sly collection of hats and facial hair, and a twinkle in the eye.
Formed in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia, in 2001 by Christchurch-born ‘spookmeister’ Stephen Taberner, the Spooky Men soon attracted attention with a judicious combination of Georgian table songs, pindrop beautiful ballads, highly inappropriate covers, and immaculate man anthems like ‘Don’t stand between a man and his tool’, all of which amounted to a manifesto for the new breed of man: happily suspended between thug and wimp.
In live performance, the Spooky Men draw on a combination of musical and theatrical values that are elusive and multifarious. Notable themes and antecedents include Georgian male polyphony, a running joke on man as a vast, oblivious, useless object, whispers of clown, bouffon and Monty Python, and forays into massively pleasurable grunting tribalism. The audience are invited to first joyously endure a wall of man-sound, then laugh stupidly, then venture into areas of great tenderness. It is ideally not so much comedic as hilarious, not so much shimmeringly perfect as pleasingly and deeply human.
"It takes a rare skill to be very silly, thoughtful, and sing in perfect harmony, but the Spooky Men's Chorale manage to achieve just that.”
Guardian live review
"a show I didn’t know I needed to see, until I had."
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