Thundering down from the mountains is a group of wild-looking, hirsute men who, far from being threatening, are coming to sooth anxious city souls with their mellifluous voices and celestial harmonies. The Spooky Men’s Chorale is an ensemble of male singers who’s appearances have alarmed then charmed audiences locally and overseas.
Created and led by New Zealand born Stephen Taberner, the choir has been performing in various configurations for more than 20 years. Their repertoire includes Georgian folk songs, deeply moving ballads, unexpected covers, hilarious original ditties and… who knows what.
It’s very entertaining but there are also moments of poignant relevance. In 2022, the choir sang a traditional Ukrainian song, “Plyve Kacha” which they recorded and uploaded to Youtube. It’s a hauntingly sad and beautiful song and it went viral here and in Ukraine.
The Spooky Men also perform a powerful version of Yothu Yindi’s “Treaty” which is inspiring and a real crowd-pleaser. Don’t be surprised if they then launch into “Dancing Queen.”
This unlikely, un-manicured, motley group of singers has amassed a strong following of devotees, and have released several albums plus merchandise. Despite their rough appearance, they are extremely proficient musicians and take their responsibility to entertain very seriously.