The video comes from Pub Choir, an organisation set up in 2017 with the aim
of transforming audiences into choirs. They take over bars and theatres, teach those attending to perform popular songs in three-part harmony, video the results and Hey! Presto! It’s wholesome fun for all the family.
In the past Pub Choir have corralled their disciples into performing many popular classics including David Bowie‘s “Heroes”, Kate Bush‘s Running Up That Hill and Kiss’s I Was Made For Lovin’ You, and their latest project finds 18,812 choristers singing in 15 cities across Australia, with 37 musical guests, including a man with a bullwhip.
Africa, of course, is a song long associated with unlikely musical projects. In 2019 Artist Max Siedentopf unveiled a sound installation which plays the song on an endless loop deep in the Namib Desert, possibly for all eternity. The same year, a Finnish musician performed it by turning a sweet potato and a butternut squash into a pair of working ocarinas. A year later, boffins at Franzoli Electronics in Leipzig, Germany, released a version “played” by two Tesla coils. Hell, even Weezer covered it.
Meanwhile, back in Australia, the Pub Choir organisers are clearly delighted.
“We did it!”, they proudly boasted after the performance. “18,812 people around Australia all working together on one mega collaboration. And what a way to finish tonight in Perth! What a Perthormance! We have had the best time, on and off stage. Thanks for coming to our shows, for singing your heart out, for working together. We feel so grateful.”