Known throughout Brisbane for their 'wholesome singing lovefest', Pub Choir is coming to the Stones Corner Festival next month.
Created from the love of choir and a background in music education, co-creators Astrid Jorgensen and Meg Bartholomew teamed up together to make choir “less lame” according to Astrid. “I noticed that it attracted a certain demographic. It was always an older crowd that would come to rehearsal.
“[Meg and I] were like 'singing is fun! Even if you're young! Why is [choir] stuck in this age bracket?' So Pub Choir was the solution to get new people singing together and pretty much beer made that happen. We just put beer in and then young people came,” she chuckles.
Welcome to all people of different shapes and ages, Pub Choir is a diverse event that allows everyone to sing to their hearts content.
After accumulating a crowd of 2,800 at their Christmas show in Brisbane's City Hall, the numbers are expected to be high for Pub Choir's set at Stones Corner Festival. “[Last Christmas] we sung 'How To Make Gravy' by Paul Kelly, and to make it really special we bought in a string quartet from the Queensland Chamber Orchestra.
“So 2,800 drunk people were just singing their lungs out, then – it was like the icing on top – there was this really beautiful, classy classical quartet that accompanied them, and it just made me feel like music belongs to everyone, it is something that we can share.
“I had bands of my own in the past that failed. I would have never dreamed that choir would be the thing that gets me onto a line-up for a festival like Stones Corner Festival,” Astrid laughs.
Hinting at performing a Powderfinger song at the festival, Pub Choir share the line-up with music greats Jebediah as well as former ‘Finger, Darren Middleton. “This is something that would have never happened in my old life, so I am just stoked all of the time.
“It's going to be this beautiful community [at Stones Corner Festival], where anyone can rock up and enjoy the music which is exactly what Pub Choir is about. I'm super keen to share [the experience] with strangers and enjoy the atmosphere.”
Children are also welcomed to attend Pub Choir's first all-ages show, which is known for its traditional 18-plus sets. “We're going to alter [the show]. It's our first ever all-ages gig, so we have to change some stuff because there is a little bit of bad language and whatnot [we need to take out].
“I think we're going to come up with a really special performance just for the show. Probably a few less harmonies. You're still going to learn some things but we won't make it as jam packed, taking into consideration that it is all-ages; I want it to be really achievable even for kids.”
Inviting everyone to have a go, Jorgensen hopes the Pub Choir experience is a fun and engaging experience for everyone. “You can sing, everyone can sing. You might not be good at it, but you can do it. You should sing because it feels good – not because you're worried about how perfect it sounds.
“I think that's the brilliance of Pub Choir: it allows you permission to sing as loud as you want and without judgement. If you have a couple of yells you want to get out, come and join us. It's super low pressure and it's going to be really wholesome and fun.”