Wednesday 19 June 2024


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Wednesday 19 June 2024

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Jun 12, 2022

Australia’s notorious Spooky Men’s Chorale ship back to the UK for first time in three years

Many things were missing from the Great British Summer last year – not least there was an unnervingly spooky silence in place of an anticipated antipodean friendly invasion.

But fear not, Australia’s weird and wonderfully hirsute, black-clad, wackily-hatted choristers are limbering up for another biennial blast round Britain – their ninth.

Following triumphant UK tours in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 they are busy packing multifarious hats in their native New South Wales, ready to whisk themselves away from the eucalyptus-infused Blue Mountains for a whistle-stop run of more than 20 performances in England, Scotland and Wales – a veritable bounty of gigs from Scotland to Southwold, big summer festivals including Cambridge, Sidmouth, Wickham and Broadstairs and a capital show at London’s Kings Place.

“Because they go on stage, pull funny faces and wear daft hats sometimes it’s easy to forget what fantastic singers they are.   Just stunning.”  – Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2 & 6

Variously described as ‘as thunderous as a herd of wildebeest’, ‘as sly as a wagonload of Spike Milligans’ and ‘as sonorous as a cloister of monks’ this masculine maelstrom is every inch the musical chameleon. They can do mellow and they can do mayhem. They can do dashing and they can do deadpan. They can do bitter and they can do sweet. And they can do it all with aplomb.

Spookmeister (and sole Kiwi) Stephen Taberner (he of the deerstalker hat) says they are looking forward more than ever to returning to these shores after COVID stopped play last year. “I suppose that to be able to do what we do again is a reminder of why we do it in the first place. We live for those moments when the audience breathes as one – either in appreciation of a mighty note, as a gurgle of collective laughter at some fresh absurdity or in mute appreciation of something impossibly tender.  The thought of experiencing those moments again means we can’t wait to sing at all our favourite places over there in your place.”

And this year, for the first time, the repertoire will include some Ukrainian songs alongside the Georgian ones.  Their rendition of the Ukrainian folk song Plyve Kacha is particularly poignant and has had over 300,000 views in the Ukraine alone.

Says Stephen: ““The invasion of a country for political dominance can also be an attempt to invalidate or obliterate it’s culture. So the best thing we can do is affirm that culture and sing the songs.”

Kicking off in Scotland the tour will take them from Bury to Bethesda, Liverpool to Ludlow with a finale at Broadstairs Folk Week in early August. Their two shows in Oxford are already sold out..

UK TOUR 2022


Sat 2 –  Edinburgh, Queens Hall /0131 668 2019

Sun 3 –  Alnwick, Alnwick Playhouse 01665 660550

Tue 5 –  Langholm, The Buccleuch Centre /01387 381196

Wed 6 – Kendal, Brewery Arts Centre /01539 725133

Thur 7 – Settle, Victoria Hall (2pm show) /01729 825718

Fri 8 –    Gateshead, Sage Gateshead /0191 443 4661

Sat 9 – Liverpool, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall /0151 709 3789

Sun 10 – Hebden Bridge, Hope Chapel the-spooky-mens-chorale-at-hebden-bridge

Tue 12 – Manchester, The Stoller Hall /0333 1300967

Wed 13 – Bethesda, Capel Jerusalem /01248 208485

Thur 14 – Stroud, Subscription Rooms /01453 796880

Fri 15 – Worcester, Huntingdon Hall / 01905 611427

Sat 16 – Ludlow, Ludlow Assembly Rooms /01584 878141

Sun 17 – Gate to Southwell Festival /01636 816678

Fri 22 – Morecambe, Morecambe Winter Gardens

Sat 23 – Sheffield, The Leadmill /0114 221 2828

Sun 24 – Bath, Komedia   01225 489070

Tue 26 – Oxford, Holywell Music Rooms SOLD OUT

Wed 27 – Oxford, Holywell Music Rooms SOLD OUT

Thur 28 – Bury St Edmunds, The Apex 01284 758000

Fri 29 – Thorington, Thorington Outdoor Theatre, Suffolk

Sat 30 & Sun 31 – Cambridge Folk Festival


Mon 1 & Tue 2 – Sidmouth Folk Festival

Thur 4 – Dorchester, Hardye Theatre

Fri 5 – Wickham Festival

Sat 6 – London, Kings Place /020 7520 1490

Sun 7 – Broadstairs Folk Week

For more details please visit:

uk festival directory