REVIEW: SPOOKED at Chipping Norton Theatre - 16 July 2011

Tooled Up The Spooky Men
Music Group

It was an evening of uproarious well tuned song interspersed with puns and send-ups about men and their appalling habits! After a lot of spluttering from this disgraceful bunch of men in black, the Spooky Men burst into Mravalzhamier, a song of celebration from Georgia. It had been four years since I last heard them. All I can say is I was spooked again. They may be a bit older and greyer but their sound is more finely tuned. They sing beautifully!

There were tips in man-arranging; much self-reflection on beauty Am I not good enough? Why do you see right through me? Best of all was how to become a Spooky Man. No breeding and musical ability required. Open to all genders, their Sing like a bloke song workshops form an integral part of their 36 day UK tour. They are to be recommended.

Tabener’s antics reminded me of Stan Laurel. Short like a jockey, his pratish timing was excellent. From my seat in the stalls against a back-drop of towering men and their hefty hairy bellies and beards protruding, Tabenar was a David to the Spooky Men’s Goliath. He wrote many of the songs, but his real talent is in choir mastery. He’s a magician. From Affirmations to Things, arms outstretched, strutting fore and aft, he kept order and time. A brief exception was in Shen Khar Venachi, a Georgian hymn celebrating the divine feminine, where the timing went a little array. It mattered not. All caught up and harmony was restored. There was another problem….. The man in the second last row.

This is a night out for all genders, ages and sizes. Not to be missed. You have another 30 days where you can Sing like a bloke and be spooked too. Visit for a concert near you.

Writer: Anne L Ryan

Read our review of their Cambridge Concert in 2007