The Shiny Bum Singers – An Audience with the Shiny Bum Singers
Work Songs of the Public Service
Review by John Dengate
I don’t pretend that this is an objective, detached review because I *love* the Shiny Bum Singers.
I share with them a love of parody and satire and it brought me great joy to share a gig with them recently at the Loaded Dog.
All the songs are funny…and the Shiny Bums have the good sense to borrow the good tunes of good songs for their parodies.
“Molly Malone” becomes Mavis McPhee; instead of cockles and mussels, she dispenses coffee and muffins.
“The Workers’ Flag” metamorphoses into “The Office Fridge”: ‘So raise the putrid morsel high’; the audience loved it.
Banjo Paterson doesn’t escape; his celebrated “Clancy of the Overflow” is brilliantly parodied and emerges as “Nancy: Re Work Overflow”.
These tracks are recorded in concert with live audiences laughing and joining in on choruses.
Consequently, the slick polish of a recording studio CD is missing but the delightful ambience created by an appreciative audience more than compensates for this.
Indeed, the notes accompanying the CD pay tribute to the audiences.
Most of the songs are comments on the esoteric idiocy of the public service culture but some attack our political masters (without naming them).
Examples are “I Saw Three Ships” and “Hocus Pocus”.
As governments generally, and the Federal Government in particular, move further and further to the right and attempt to bully and politicise public servants, the cheeky irreverence of the Shiny Bums becomes increasingly important … and increasingly indicative of the determination of this wonderful (and courageous) choir to lampoon the kings who strut about wearing no clothes.
The pompous and the powerful can ignore cold intellectual analysis but their pomposity withers in the gales of laughter generated by the Shiny Bums.
Yes, I’m a political person but even if you are not, you’ll still find the Shiny Bums very funny.
This CD is bloody unique.