In BathNews

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.

On Sunday 24th July the tour will head to Komedia Bath. Tickets for the 7.30pm show are available from the box office on +44 (0)1225 489070 or online at

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 Stephen Taberner says they are looking forward more than ever to returning to these shores after Covid-19 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.”

The Spookies were formed by Taberner in Sydney in 2001 and could rightly be said to have almost singlehandedly redefined the world of men’s singing. With a sound variously described as “sexy, powerful, impossibly gentle and sad but unmistakably male”  their repertoire ranges from Georgian drinking songs to whisper perfect ballads and a string of improbable original hits like Don’t Stand Between a Man and his Tool and Stop Scratching It.

Spooky veterans know well their hilarious retreatments of classics like Earth, Wind & Fire’s Boogie Wonderland and the funniest version of Abba’s Dancing Queen you are likely to witness. Spooky virgins should expect topics ranging from Bee Gees to body parts, gluttony to mastodons and a handy lesson in how to scare off hostile neighbouring tribes.

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 seem to hijack its culture as if it has no validity. So the best thing we can do is affirm that culture and sing the songs. This is what Ukraine has in common with Georgia - the close attentions of a mega neighbour whose aggressions only serve to strength the cultural resolve."

The 15-strong line-up will arrive in the UK armed with their sixth studio album Welcome to the Second Half. Says Stephen: “It’s an album which explores all corners of the great spooky landscape including airport baggage carousels, the fine art of building pyramids and, more poignantly, what it is like to be closer to the end than the beginning. But the musical experience that results from all this uncertainty will be a great ride – a melding of classic songs from the Spooky back catalogue and tasty brand new morsels.”

At first glance you might think this is a line-up just playing it for laughs. But you’d be wrong. Compellingly comic they may be but make no mistake, this is a finely-honed, class act. Shape-shifting songsters of the highest order, finally back in the UK for your delight.




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