DUSTYESKY: The North Coast's favourite Russian men's choir performing at the Courthouse Hotel in Mullumbimby
DUSTYESKY: The North Coast's favourite Russian men's choir performing at the Courthouse Hotel in Mullumbimby Christian Morrow

Motherland falls for Dustyesky

PASSION crosses all borders and translates into any language.

The passion Mullumbimby's Russian men's choir, Dustyesky evokes when they sing has spread back home to the Russian motherland garnering the boys an avalanche of media interest.

The choir have already been the subject of several Russian TV news reports and a Russian based entrepreneur has already offered to facilitate a tour back there for the 28 man choir.

Choir master Andrew 'Boss' Swain is amazed by the sudden interest given he and other members were wondering, not so long ago, about where to next for the choir.

"I was contacted by the Russian Cultural Club to do a fund raiser for them, so they did a little article in their newsletter which was lifted by a newspaper in Belarus," he said.

"That article was picked up by Russian media and the first thing I knew about it was last Thursday night when our Facebook page started getting hundreds and hundreds of likes and comments from Russia.

"By Saturday we were doing interviews with TV1 and other Russian television news shows.

"At rehearsal last Tuesday we did three Skype interviews with Russian TV. Apparently they have gone nuts for Dustyesky over there."

Dustyesky were conceived three years ago as a one-off act for the Mullumbimby Music Festival.

The group even invented their own back story as a group of Russians who became stranded in Mullumbimby early in the 20th century, after making the ill fated decision to set up Tractor Factory Number 6 in Main Arm.

The stranded singers now subsist by manufacturing typewriters and selling gherkin liqueur at local markets. But there is not much market for either, so they formed a choir.

"I prepare the lyrics phonetically so we can learn the song but at a certain point I tell the guys to sing it like you are Russian and the whole thing becomes bigger, deeper and more passionate.

When the band hit the stage they assume their persona with both singers and audience transported by the beauty of the Russian language and the power of the music.

Dustyesky gather in Mullumbimby every Tuesday night to rehearse, and of course throw back a few vodkas, in a responsible manner.

"We are a very diverse group from labourers through to high flying corporate lawyer types," Andrew said.

"But once you get a bunch of blokes in a room singing together you bond and start to understand each other and support each other in life."

Even with the sudden surge of interest in the choir from Russian and Australian media the Dustys will stick to their cherished dream of heading to Russia to cheer on the Socceroos at the World Cup in 2018.

"I am expecting a call from soccer boss David Gallup any minute now to tell us we have seats reserved on the Socceroos plane," Andrew said.

"But whatever happens from here on in it has been an amazing experience already," he said.


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