What are your thoughts when you hear the word choir!?!! Do you picture youthful gospel singers in silk-laden robes, chanting gloriously? Maybe an antique pipe organ hums somewhere in the background and the choir leader gently nods and sways with the tune, voices rising and falling with their simple hand motions!?!! If this is what you’re hoping for when you take part yourself, you may be in for a bit of a shock!
Pub Choir, as the name implies, mixes both beautiful harmonies and wonderful spirit, but it’s definitely not one that Aunt Edna might appreciate – unless of course Aunt Edna is a legend with a drink in her hand and a bit of a potty mouth! Established in 2017 as a fun night out with friends, Pub Choir has grown into a global goliath, reaching beyond Brisbane’s borders and (before Covid times, dammit,) taking on the world in what can only be described as an exercise in fun, frivolity and united friendship.
It’s a simple but very clever initiative that is run by classically trained Director Astrid Jorgensen. Together with the equally talented co-host Waveney Yasso on her guitar, they bring together the crowd to collectively perform a song in 3-part harmony in an event that runs for about 3 hours, including a toilet/drink break intermission! Their website says just because you can’t sing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! With flair, panache and a hell of a lot of sass, the girls on stage get you to (ahem, and I quote,) “Open your sound hole!” and join in on the fun.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT!?!!
If you’re thinking of heading to the next event, you’ll be in for a real treat. Highlights of the night include the beautiful Acknowledgment to Country penned by Waveney at the start of the evening, and the skillful way the crowd are sorted into groups. From the start you pick a side: High Ladies, Low Ladies and the brave men who come along to add their baritone to complete the 3-part harmony.
Once the crowd is corralled into their crews, Astrid reveals her Power Point from Heaven! It’s directions are easy to follow and the memes along the way help the laughs continue all through the night. And don’t worry if you forget your lines or lose track, Astrid’s brutal yet beautiful critique keeps you entertained and on the path to crooning glory.
When Covid shut down the pub versions last year, the girls gave birth to another beautiful creation. “Couch choir” came about and continues to unite people all over the globe by inviting anyone to submit their videos online. Check out their website to see their previous songs, but to fully immerse yourself you’ve really got to get to a live event if you can.
THE LAST EVENT
I have been to 4 Pub Choir events over the last few years, and the most recent one held at the Riverstage would have to be my favourite so far. This was the first Pub Choir in 15 months, and it only seems to get better with age! Complete with a video of blessings from Sir Barry Gibb himself, we were wrangled into shape by the girls, and successfully belted out a 3,000 strong choir version of Somebody to Love. Check out their Facebook page or website for the final version of the song when it’s released soon.
BREAKING NEWS – The next online event for Couch choir has been given a national audience! They will be on SBS for Australia’s Biggest Singalong on Saturday 5 June at 8:30pm! Check it out online, and make sure you grab a friend and head to the real deal when you can!