Shiny Bum Singers
with John Dengate, Loaded Dog, Sydney
The Shiny Bum Singers are a vocally inspiring and visually entertaining group of mostly public servants who sing their own wicked parodies about the working life of the Australian Public Service. They also stray into political satire but never sedition ... well, hardly ever!!
They mostly sing a cappella (unaccompanied) – but for some songs have co-opted their instrumental talents ranging across guitar, accordion, keyboard, bouzouki, ukulele, shakers, bongos and even guitar cases, to accompany their inspired lyrics, brilliant humour and shambolic choreography.
Based in Canberra, Australia’s bush capital, they have performed to packed houses at the Australian National Folk Festival for most of the last 11 years, with performances, workshops and guest spots in packed venues. They have toured extensively around the ACT, regional New South Wales and Victoria, and played to enthusiastic audiences in Sydney's top folk venues. Five of the twelve or so Bums toured the UK in May 2007, and in 2012 four of them ventured to the Top Half Folk Festival at Mary River Resort in the Northern Territory to perform a tribute concert for the late David Meyers, (one of the founding Shiny Bums), with the help of a number of his friends from that part of the world.
They have regularly entertained Government and Public Service conferences and dinners, including the prestigious Prime Minister's awards. The Group presented their CD to Dr Peter Shergold, the then Head of the Australian Public Service - although the content isn't always complimentary about the organisation over which he presided. In 2008 the Bums performed at his farewell, and in 2009, at the farewell for Jeff Whalan the CEO at Centrelink (Australia’s service-delivery organisation), and a self described folk-tragic.
The ‘Bums’ have also entertained rallies in good causes such as for the ABC in 2001, support local community causes and organisations, and have performed for audiences from children to the elderly. They have also performed annually with Shortis and Simpson ( http://shortisandsimpson.com/) and the ‘House Howlers’ press corps parodists from Parliament – in 2012 at the National Press Club.
They launched their CD (“An Audience with the Shiny Bum Singers”) at the 2006 National Folk Festival and launched their best-selling OmniBum song-book and group story there in 2009. A highlight of their performance there in 2011 was their well-received mangled musical “Rodgering Hammerstein” which tells the stories of the public service (and public servants) through witty parodies of songs from musicals.
No subject in the workplace is safe from the finely honed fingers of the group's talented writers, nor is any folk song (or any other song for that matter) immune to their unique style of parody. A full listing of the Bum’s published material (CD and songbooks) can be found on the publications page.
The Shiny Bums normally perform with between 7-12 people on stage. A list of current performers, and the roll of all previous performers can be found on the group’s membership page.
Related site: Boris Books Home
Updated 5th August 2012