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Hairum-scarum: The Spooky Men's Chorale

PUBLISHED: 12:03 01 August 2011 | UPDATED: 19:48 20 February 2013

Hairum-scarum: The Spooky Men's Chorale

Hairum-scarum: The Spooky Men's Chorale

They came down from the Blue Mountains of New South Wales to sing their epic songs of tools and facial hair... Candia McKormack receives an initiation into the mysteries of menfolk

Hairum-scarum

They came down from the Blue Mountains of New South Wales to sing their epic songs of tools and facial hair... Candia McKormack receives an initiation into the mysteries of menfolk

Men. You can grow beards (if you want to). You play the testosterone card and look knowingly into the middle-distance to wring emotional nonsense from us womenfolk. You wear hats. You drink beer. You hide in sheds. You like tools. Big tools. Huge tools of iron not designed for the female hand.

What you also do, if youre a Spooky Man, is make the most beautiful music. Yes, you have the facial hair, you have the legs-apart-hands-on-hips stance, you have the look of someone whos acquainted with the bottom of a foaming tankard, but you also make the kind of sound that makes the heart ache in such a way that you hope the pain never ends. And just when were caught, hands clasped together in the tragi-ecstasy of the moment, you go and sing Abba, and, though I never thought Id say this, I thank you for that too.

With music forged in the red-hot cauldron of Georgian table singing, the Spooky Mens Chorale has nailed this tradition of singing perfectly. Led by spookmeister Stephen Taberner, the 15-strong choir has come down from the Blue Mountains of New South Wales to tread the boards of our theatres and blink confusedly into the par cans of stages across the UK.

Theres Neville who cant find no Satisfaction and, with heartfelt delivery, we truly believe he cant; theres Ryan one of the choirs youngest singers who was plucked from a home for nervous boys in Western Australia and pushed forward, centre-stage, to deliver his plaintive song Light Pole about lamp posts; and then theres Adrian with his rendition of Princes Kiss which leads him from shy mans man to thrusting, prancing sex machine ( think Im gonna dance now. Oh yes, ladies, he most certainly did).

They returned to Stroud it was the last date booked in their extensive UK schedule and showed their appreciation for the audiences participation (goodness I even held hands with the man next to me at one point on their instruction!) as much as we all showed our appreciation for bringing their beautiful three-part harmonies to the towns Lansdown Hall.

We laughed, we nearly cried, and we were all given an insight into what it means to be a Spooky Man in these days of metrosexual ambiguity.

In the beginning there was the thing; it was without form and no one knew what it was for then man saw it, and it was good.

The Spooky Mens Chorale is touring the UK until September 7. For more information visit www.spookymen.com

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