I'm a starry-eyed 20-something with two cats and too many hobbies.
Published December 18th 2017
No voice? No worries
I've got a riddle for you. What does singing at the top of your lungs, hanging out with 300 plus of your closest friends, and lots and lots of alcohol (drink in moderation, kids) have in common?
That's right, PUB CHOIR.
This little brain child belongs to local music teacher and performer Astrid Jorgensen and her team of brilliant people. It's held on the second Thursday of every month at the Elephant Hotel in Fortitude Valley and it's, well, choir. In a pub.
But hear me out, because it's also amazing, and you don't have to be a singer to join in (believe me, I should know). I went recently with my Meetup group, and I was kind of nervous because, well, I didn't know any of my Meetupers, and also, it was choir. In a pub.
As we entered, we paid our $10 and got our hands stamped and then we were engulfed by the sea of people already amassing in front of the stage in the Elephant's courtyard. I was kind of like, 'ooook' because I'm not really one for crowds but you know how crowds have a vibe? Like a, 'get out of my way, those are my bananas' vibe or a 'yeah man, you can cut in front, no worries' kind of vibe? Well the vibe of this crowd said, 'welcome, we're all here to sing (and drink, a bit)' and you can't argue with that.
At the start of the singing bit, Astrid moves you into vague categories of 'ladies who sing a bit high', 'ladies who sing a bit lower' and 'people who identify as male' and then teaches each section their bit of each part of the song, in small increments so nobody gets too bored.
Our song was, "To Be With You" by Mr Big and my section got the "waiting on a line!" bit, so that was good.
The thing you're going to love about pub choir though, is that you seriously don't have to be able to sing. As long as you can make some kind of sound come out of your mouth, you're in. Even if you can sing, nobody will be able to hear your beautiful vibrato over the other 299 people anyway, so seriously, if you've ever belted out Let It Go in your shower, come on down.
The other thing you're going to love is Astrid and the creative team. You've got to have something real good going for you if you're going to coordinate 300 people to sing a song in something approaching harmony and timing and with good humour, at that, and Astrid has it, whatever it is. She's got so much energy and goodwill and joy beaming out of her that you just can't help but be charmed (and I wasn't trying very hard not to be).
The night goes for about 2 hours and honestly, I didn't notice any of it passing even though I was standing the whole time. I also sang/shouted myself hoarse and it's totally worth it.
Pub choir runs on the second Thursday of every month, and songs are released the day before for you to brush up on, but lyrics are projected above the stage anyway. The venue is super accessible from Fortitude Valley station, not even I got lost getting there (and that's saying something).
Check out their Facebook for details, pictures, and videos.