10 July 2013

Spooky Men’s Chorale Liverpool Philharmonic 31 July

Spooky Men’s Chorale Liverpool Philharmonic 31 July

Spooky Men’s Chorale Liverpool Philharmonic 31 July

Spooky Men’s Chorale
Wednesday 31 July 2013 7:30 pm
Liverpool Philharmonic
Tickets £16.50, £23.50

The Sydney based a cappella Spooky Men’s Chorale are an ensemble that sounds as sacred as a high church choir one minute and wickedly off the wall the next, with an eccentrically wide repertoire, ranging from ABBA to Georgian folk songs to Czech composer Leos Janáček, with original compositions and eloquent arrangements thrown into the mix.

The self confessed men in black with no table manners will be singing their hearts out and in their own words, beseeching the Liverpool audience to unbutton their affections ahead of their  Philharmonic date on Wednesday 31 July 2013.

The group of about two-dozen singers is vocally disciplined, with a big warm sound and terrific blend. Director, or Spookmeister named Stephen Taberner leads them with a sure sense of timing, and he's able to elicit a variety of choral colours based on the type of music they're singing.

My favourite memory of Liverpool was on our last visit, Roger McGough was having a meal in a Greek restaurant and being asked by a local gangster to sign a napkin, which he promptly mislaid. The gangster’s past caught up with him two weeks later. McGough wrote a poem about it” says fellow spooky man Adrian Mealing.

Their repertoire ranges from Georgian style chants to a Capella ballads, spiky political jabs, Cole Porter’s Every Time We Say Goodbye, hilarious spoofs of Queen’s Flash and Earth, Wind and Fire’s Boogie Wonderland and the funniest version of ABBA’s Dancing Queen your ears are likely to hear.

There are so many influences, from the barrel-chested singing men of Georgia, the grooves of Prince, the endeavours of Men everywhere to get it right occasionally and the mowing of lawns. There is a set list but it changes onstage like the shifting moods of English weather. It’d be odd if we didn't sing Tool, a hymn to the innate construction and repairing skills of every man on the planet” he explains.

The Spookies seek to commentate on the absurdity and grandeur of the modern male armed only with their voices, a sly collection of hats, their facial hair, and a twinkle in the eye. For their 5th UK tour, these Aussie larrikins arrive with their new album, The Spooky Man In History, which calmly, amusingly and cavernously redefines the very genre they invented themselves.

There are eleven new songs on this tour. They’ll sound like a piece of cake by the time they get to The Phil. But nothing in life is easy. As I write this, Spooks all over the continent are torturing their pianos, interrogating mp3s and smiling when it sounds just so.”

Are you looking forward to being back in the city? “I’m looking forward to heading back to the Albert Dock, the smell of the past, the cargoes, the surf all the way to Sydney.”

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