How a Mullumbimby Russian Folk Choir Became Famous in Russia

Sunday February 25, 2018 Written by suzi

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'Dustyesky' is a 28-man choir from the northern New South Wales town of Mullumbimby, a place generally known for its chilled lifestyle, thriving erm permaculture and – now it seems – for its home-grown Russian choir. The unlikely choristers got together originally because they all shared a love of drinking vodka and singing Red Army songs. And even though none of them are Russian and none of them speak the language, they haven't let that stop them.

When they performed at a Russian expat event in Brisbane, they were written about in a Russian-Australian newspaper... and then international media attention snowballed to the point that they were featured on a Russian TV show that boasted 250 million viewers. Choir member Mark Swivel said in an ABC North Coast interview that the choir had been bowled over by the international attention. "It seems that people are touched that blokes from such a strange culture so far away would be interested in singing Russian songs at all." He admitted that there had been "some comments about our accents" but that overall, the positive reception they'd received had been astonishing. 

Have a listen to them in the clip below and we challenge you not to sing along in Russian, or even just Russian-sounding words; it's stirring, marvellous, goosebumpy stuff.