History

Close Shave 1989Close Shave's humble beginning was a result of four musical friends curious about the unusual genre of barbershop quartet singing. The original quartet was formed in late 1983 and comprised of brothers Ben and Paul Oxley, Tim Begbie and Brian Sykes. Based in Hobart, the group started performing around town and gained the attention of music lovers who were not familiar with this style of singing. Since then, many members have come and gone, all sharing a common bond that has united them through fellowship in song. Tim's wife, Esther takes the credit for the inspired name, Close Shave.

Close Shave 1990 Government HouseOver the years, the quartet has performed in a range of situations and locations including radio & TV, restaurants and 5 star hotels (even in their elevators and spas). One memorable "out of the ordinary" gig involved a funeral directors convention where the boys sang a parody "Always look on the bright side of death". Another was a medical students ball where none of the audience were left standing and none remembered when the bill was received! Truly memorable.

The group has also participated in every AAMBS (Australian Association of Men's Barbershop Singers) bi-annual convention since its Close Shave 1993 Bronzeinauguration in 1991, competing in all but one. Most notability the 1993 and 1995 conventions saw Close Shave bring home bronze medals and 1997 moved up a place to silver.

When Close Shave planned to travel to the Perth Convention in 1993, Tim Begbie decided to found Hobart's male barbershop chorus that later became "The Wellingtones".

Close Shave 1995 with partnersMaintaining a position in the top 10 at conventions is regarded as an important benchmark for the quartet, as it ensures a high standard of entertainment for everybody back home. In 2005 the quartet was forced to change its name for competition under a ruling by the governing body relating to medal winning quartets changing members. "incognito" competed in true Close Shave style.

Close Shave 1995 in CanberraClose Shave has built a reputation as a training ground for talent withformer members going on to gain highly regarded achievements in the barbershop world. One such member was a young man named John Newell who at age 18 had only just finished High School in Hobart. He was earmarked by music teachers at the time as a talented performer with a good voice and theatrical skills. After achieving two bronze medals in AAMBS conventions as lead of Close Shave, John went on to win gold at the '99 and '01 conventions with Southern Cross. Hungry for more, in 2002 John moved to the US in pursuit of one day becoming International Champion. He quickly settled into the quartet Realtime and in 2005 became BHS (Barbershop Harmony Society) International Quartet Champions, a first for any Australian.

Close Shave 2001 BBQAnother former member, Daniel Beckitt, also went on to become an Australian champion along side John with "Southern Cross" in 1999 and 2001.

History of Members

  • Tenor
    • Ben Oxley (1983 - 1985)
    • Tony Hitske (1986 -1991)
    • Brian Yates (1991 - 1992)
    • Phil Elphinstone (1992 - 1994)
    • Daniel Beckitt (1994 - 1998)
    • Jason Geeves (1998 - 2001)
    • Simon Beswick (2002 - present)
  • Lead
    • Paul Oxley (1983 -1985)
    • Ben Oxley (1985 - 1986)
    • Ken Hunt (1987)
    • Trevor Kean (1987)
    • John Newell (1987 - 1996)
    • Craig Wood (1996 - 1998)
    • Geoff Green (1999 - 2001)
    • Adam Purton (2001 - 2007)
    • Christopher Waterhouse (2007 - 2008)
    • Kristian Byrne (2008 - 2010)
    • Tim Carolan (2010 - 2012)
    • Jeames Bone (2012 - 2014)
  • Baritone
    • Tim Begbie (1983 - present)
  • Bass
    • Brian Sykes (1983 - 1993)
    • John Ballard (1993 - 2004)
    • Jimmy Hoggett (2004 - 2007)
    • Jeff Michel (2007 - 2010)
    • Andrew Carolan (2010 - 2012)
    • Dominic Mackie (2012 - 2014)

AAMBS Competition History

Year
City
Place
Tenor
Lead
Baritone
Bass
1991 Gold Coast 7th Tony Hitske John Newell Tim Begbie Brian Sykes
1993 Perth Bronze Medal Phil Elph- instone John Newell Tim Begbie John Ballard
1995 Canberra Bronze Medal Daniel Beckitt John Newell Tim Begbie John Ballard
1997 Sydney Silver Medal Daniel Beckitt Craig Wood Tim Begbie John Ballard
1999 Brisbane 4th Jason Geeves Geoff Green Tim Begbie John Ballard
2001 Melbourne Attended but did not compete
2003 Perth 6th Simon Beswick Adam Purton Tim Begbie John Ballard
2005 Gold Coast 5th Simon Beswick Adam Purton Tim Begbie Jimmy Hoggett
2007 Sydney 6th Simon Beswick Adam Purton Tim Begbie Jeff Michel
2009 Hobart 6th Simon Beswick Kristian Byrne Tim Begbie Jeff Michel
2011 Brisbane 11th Simon Beswick Tim Carolan Tim Begbie Andrew Carolan
2013 Perth 16th Simon Beswick Jeames Bone Tim Begbie Dominic Mackie