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Byron Shire
August 3, 2021

Russian Boy Band

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Dustyesky – a bunch of tremendously talented, mostly good-looking men.

Mullumbimby has produced some very interesting talent. We have high school girl turned international star, rapper Iggy Azaela, and we have a bunch of bearded blokes in a Russian choir bringing on menopausal hot flushes wherever they go…

Andrew Swain, as choir leader, is their Vladimir Putin.

Why is the world, or at least Mullumbimby, falling in love with Dustyesky?

A bunch of tremendously talented, mostly good-looking men singing very deeply about love, yearning and overthrowing the bourgeois establishment. What’s not to love? Also on Tuesday nights at the RSL there’s frankly not a lot of competition, so we do well with the ladies.

How does a man make it into the choir? Was there a selection process?

We have a waiting list with about 70 names on it. When one of the comrades passes away, the person on the top of the list gets a call. A couple of years ago one of our men died under tragic circumstances. It was terribly, terribly sad. That’s how Darren got in.

How do you learn your songs… and how do you remember the lyrics or pronounce them correctly when none of you speak Russian? Is it much harder than remembering normal lyrics?

We mostly learn by standing in a circle, we all have a shot of vodka in our right hand, and we have this intense kind of staring competition which can go for ages, then eventually someone just cracks and has to skoll, and we all skoll and cheer and carry on. I dunno, it just kind of happens. Singing in Russian can be hard, but we are lucky enough to have a private tutor down the non-eco end of Saddle Road who helps us immensely. Comrade Dods still mis-pronounces the same line again and again; the beauty of it is that most of the audience don’t notice. It is still surprising how many Russians come and see our shows. If we hear a Russian in the audience we usually bolt out the back door after the gig…

Where do you source your songs?

One of the comrades picked up an Ivan Rebrov record at Vinnies; we’re basically learning it.

Who are Dustyesky?

There’re 28 of us. From no-hopers like me to highly skilled bush-regen consultants. I think if we were actually to topple the filthy scum that form the ruling class we could form an effective collective to guide the populace through the challenges of the next dozen years or so. But none of us really wanted to be on Council, so we didn’t run.

What are the major challenges taking the choir on the road?

Once we have saved up enough for a Lada we are going to have a crack at the world record for the most number of people in it. That way we can share the petrol money on our Australian tour. The challenge will be to find some roofies that fit so we can have luggage. The Lada has that complicated gutter-mount thingy and they don’t make racks that have the old clamp-on system any more.

How do you want your show to make people feel?

We want them to feel loved. Because we love them. We really do.

How do they feel?

Usually slightly betrayed.

What is the craziest dream for Dustyesky?

We are waiting for a call from David Gallop from FFA confirming us as the official choir to the Socceroos for the World Cup in Russia 2018. We are all soccer mad and thinking of making Timmy Cahill our next patron if he scores a hat trick against Japan on Tuesday night!

Are you ever going to release a CD or merch? The middle-aged women of the world are desperate for it…

We have merch! Come pick it up on Saturday night. World-famous Dustyesky T-shirt (S,M,L,XXL). Don’t have a CD yet… still waiting for condenser mike and digital recording combo to come on special at Aldi. But frankly, we have our fans pretty much where we want them to be.

What should we expect for your show at Club Mullum… and then Mullum Music Festival?

Will be fabulous gig. The Loveys – sensational and one for the middle-aged men. The Button Collective – appropriate politically structured outfit of wild cards. Amazing. We have new repertoire to share, new passion to bleed onstage, and a new Facebook page! Dustyesky, where you can see our new video made by world-famous pot-stirrer David Bradbury. We haven’t been out much this year, but we’re excited to be back. Bring your women, bring your livestock…

Dustyesky will be presenting a teaser concert in the lead-up to their Mullum Festival sets, on Saturday at Club Mullum (Mullum Ex-Services Club) 8pm.

They’ll be joined by special guests – fellow MMF 2016 crew The Button Collective. And the Loveys. All tix at the door!

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