THE Spooky Men of the West may have been part of the Perth music scene for 11 years but the male a cappella choir will only make its Fringe World debut this week with show Secrets of Mansinging.
Original member, bass singer and manager Nick Eustance said although the group had performed and picked up an award at Adelaide Fringe Festival, this would be its first Fringe on home territory.
“It’s ridiculous that we haven’t already (performed at Fringe World),” Eustance said.
“We’re looking forward to engaging with new audiences and providing them with a surprising extension of what they might have thought a men’s choir would be.”
The Spooky Men of the West was formed by Fairbridge Festival artistic director Steve Barnes for Fairbridge Festival, and is a brother choir to Stephen Taberner’s The Spooky Men’s Chorale in NSW.
“Much to Steve and perhaps everybody’s initial surprise, the group has lasted much longer than just the Fairbridge Festival,” Eustance said.
The performance experience includes a selection of black hats, beards and an unmistakeably masculine sound, directed by WAAPA vocal studies senior lecturer Michael McCarthy.
“Our songs tend to have four parts; in other words, as well as a melody line, harmonies are created by bass, low and high mids, and tops (tenors),” Eustance said.
“Humour in music is not always successful; the genius of Stephen Taberner’s writing, which is much of what we perform, is that it has truth portrayed with a deadpan character that is strangely charming and can be surprisingly funny.”
What: The Spooky Men of the West – Secrets of Mansinging
Where: Teatro 1, The Pleasure Garden, Northbridge
When: February 16 to 21