As thunderous as a herd of wildebeest, as sly as a wagonload of Spike Milligans and as sonorous as a cloister of monks, the Spooky Men’s Chorale are the gift that keeps on giving.
They emerged blithering and blinking-eyed from the Blue Mountains of NSW in 2001, and armed with no more than their voices, a nice line in deadpan and an ill-matched set of hats, have been gleefully disturbing audiences everywhere since.
Formed by NZ-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 a swag of original songs which seek to both celebrate the “boof” and mock it.
The Spooky Men’s CV includes nine tours of the UK, six CDs, sell-out shows at theatrical venues like the Melbourne Recital Centre, and festival appearances too numerous to mention. Faced with a mid-life crisis, they chose not to become a tribute band to themselves, but instead find ever fresher, deeper, more ludicrous perspectives, such as those found in their latest album Welcome to the second half.
Always renowned for a combination of Visigothic bravado, absurdist humour and eye-moistening tenderness, the Spookies in middle age, and fortified with a new generation of wunderkids, are more masters of their territory than ever before. They will delicately garnish their much-loved black-catalogue with new incursions into beauty and stupidity, somewhat like a chocolate muffin with bits of chocolate in it. You must see them, really you must.
“Inspired – and a triumph of choreography! Catch them on the road – a fantastic night out is guaranteed!”
Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2
“High camp, epic folly – probably the best programming choice of the entire summer festival circuit”
The Irish Times
“Highly theatrical, they veer from weird to touching and back again. Grown up entertainment in the best, most infantile way. Don’t miss an opportunity to see them”