Pub Choir Lets Hundreds Belt Out A Classic Tune In Harmony

The crew that are making choir cool

When you think of choirs, you probably conjure up an image of a church hall, flowing robes, and hymns.

But once a month, a Brisbane pub has been playing host to 800 folks keen for a singalong, lending their voices to learn and sing a classic tune in three-part harmony.

It took just 40 seconds for all the tickets to be snapped up to October’s show – which featured The Living End’s singer Chris Cheney leading the choir in a stirring rendition of his tune Prisoner Of Society.

“It’s not something that you get asked every day,” Chris says, “to have 800 people in a pub singing an acapella version of one of your songs, so I jumped at it.”

Other recent sessions have featured Regurgitator’s ! (The Song Formerly Known As), Youth Group’s Forever Young, and songs by The Cat Empire, Aretha Franklin, 4 Non Blondes, Alanis Morissette, Hunters and Collectors, The Cranberries and Powderfinger.

Astrid Jorgensen got the idea for Pub Choir after she taught choir to a school in Townsville. She had so much fun that she wanted to get adults involved in singing… and then had the brainwave of doing it in a licensed venue, where inhibitions might be a little looser.

“It turns out that everyone likes singing,” Astrid says. “I honestly believe that deep down, that even if you are scared to admit it, everyone loves it.”

So last year they started out with the idea being to learn a song in a night - with a beer in hand.

The first session attracted 70 singers, but since then the choir has outgrown four pubs. This month’s choir session will be the final one to be held at Newstead’s The Triffid, as the choir head to a venue that can hold 1500 choristers.

While they’re expecting their Very Special Christmas Extravaganza , raising money for Love Your Sister, to draw around 3000.

And they’re also spreading out, holding events around the rest of the country. In January, they’ll even be branching out to New Zealand.

The song is only announced to participants 24 hours before the event starts. But the choir organisers say you don’t need to prepare anything. And in 90 minutes, the whole room is united in creating a mighty noise.

For more information on joining in on a local Pub Choir event, visit their web site at And check out more videos on the choir’s Facebook page.

Check out the Pub Choir on The Project tonight, 6:30 on 10.