THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Stephen Taberner of the Spooky Men's Chorale

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THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Stephen Taberner of the Spooky Men's Chorale

Womad always throws up surprises but what can you say about a group that is billed this way? “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”.

A pure vocal ensemble out of Australia, they bring their voices – and not a few heroically masculine beards – to songs as diverse as Ghost Riders in the Sky, the Beatles' And I Love Her, the Beach Boys In My Room, the Stones' Satisfaction, Abba's Dancing Queen and Don't Stand Between A Man and His Tool.

They are witty, beautifully harmonious and it is all done unaccompanied.

Wonderful and wonderfully funny and on their up-coming New Zealand tour they also play at Womad (see dates and details below) . . . and you might get a flavour of them in these answers to our world music questionnaire by their musical director Stephen Taberner (who tells the chorale's story in detail here)

The first musician whose music really affected you was . . .

mr snuffleupagus

Your first appearance on stage before an audience was . . . (And you were how old?)

goat in nativity scene - age 4

If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .

goats in nativity scenes

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear because they are so emotionally moving are . . .

more than a woman - the bee gees

I love mr snuffleupagus - maisie pinkerton, aged 6

re ah um well (what do i say when I’ve said goodbye and I realise that we’re both walking in the same direction) - the spooky men’s chorale

The most unusual place you have performed would be . . .?

the hamilton mausoleum, a big penis shaped building in scotland with a reverb of seventeen seconds

The most important book you have read is . . .? And why?

the art of idleness, it’s important not to spend too much energy doing things that…. ahhh, doesn’t matter

If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)

the sound guy - hopscotch

The three films you'd like anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .

nightmare on eyebrow st

being there

march of the penguins

The last CD, vinyl album or download you bought was . . .

mr snuffleupagus sings the works of verdi

When you travel, what is it you most miss about your home country?

the nice people in our beds with no beards

The artist you most admire would be . . .

gough whitlam

Your favourite meal to share with friends would be . . .? (Care to share a simple recipe?)

cheese. not eaten with things that are not cheese.

Do you practice every day, and if so for how long?

yes, eyebrow practice, four hours before breakfast

David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” If that were true, you would spend them where, doing . . .?

in a sauna in latvia, being whipped with a birch by a man called juris

And finally, do you have any unrealised goals in music?

singing properly


For more on next year's Womad including tickets etc check out their website here.


St Matthews In The City, 187 Federal Street
Saturday 10 March 7.30pm

The Meteor Theatre, 1 Victoria Street, Hamilton
Sunday 11 March 7.30pm

WOMAD, Coronation Ave
Saturday 17 March


The Globe Theatre, 312 Main St
Tuesday 20 March, 7.30pm

Salvation Army Citadel, 92 Vivian St
Wednesday 21 March, 8pm

Motueka Memorial Hall, 8 Pah Street
Thursday 22 March, 8pm

The Piano, 156 Armagh Street
Saturday 24 March
The Spooky Men’s Family Show 4.00pm
The Spooky Men’s Chorale 8.00pm


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