I seemed to be alone in not cheering loudly as The Spooky Men’s Chorale took to the stage at Melbourne’s Recital Centre.
It wasn’t that I had anything against the choir; I am embarrassed to say I had never heard of them! By the end of the show I was a convert.
When the invite to the performance arrived, I was intrigued as I couldn’t work out what kind of songs the chorale sang and who they would appeal to. After seeing the concert I would say they can sing anything they want! Judging by the make-up of the audience it would seem the group, formed in the Blue Mountains in 2001, appeals to all ages.
Dressed in all black and sporting a colorful array of headgear, the 16-man choir sang Georgian folk songs in perfect harmony (which clearly affected several Georgian members of the audience). They also launched confidently into a number of very funny original songs and several well-known cover songs.
The biggest cheers on the night were for their original numbers, which included Don’t Stand Between a Man and His Tool, We Are Not a Men’s Group and Welcome to the Second Half. There were plenty of laughs after the group’s tribute to the Bee Gees, a song about their favourite body part and a celebration of the eyebrow.
A collective `aah’ went around the Recital Centre when they finished a number based on Alfred Lord Tennyson Crossing the Bar. A cover of Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me to the End of Love (one of my favourite songs of the night) lifted the crowd to its feet.
It was this mixture of original and well known songs which were beautiful sung by the choir (unaccompanied by any musical instruments) and the humour of the group and its leader and founder, Stephen Taberner, which ensured I cheered as loudly as most at the show’s end!
*Jenny Burns attended the Spooky Men’s Chorale concert as a guest of the group.
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