C Venue, Chambers Street
6-28 August, 14.50
I always thought Acappella was the refuge of nerdy middle-aged men, who enjoyed singing but weren’t cool enough to be in a rock band. What a prejudiced, unthinking fool I was.
Acappella is actually the hippest, most foot-tappingly unnerdy thing in the world, as I discovered when I went to watch Out of the Blue perform their new show in a packed C venue this week.
Right from the outset, it is easy to understand how this 16-strong band of young male singers narrowly missed out on victory at this year’s World Acapella Championships. Whether they are performing old classics or current hits like “Poker face”, the mixture of different vocal effects they employ is astounding. Equipped only with their voices (of course), they successfully create the instrumental side to each song, imitating guitars and drums, before laying backing and main vocals over the top.
A suitably hammy rendition of Take That’s Patience is followed immediately by Tom Jones’ “Sex bomb”, as they rack up tune after tune, using similarities of melody to jump unexpectedly between different songs.
Almost every song has a different lead singer, such is the depth of talent in this group, allowing them to cover a spectacular range of genres. Their ethereal cover of Damien Rhys’ “Cold Water” had me embarrassingly close to tears.
As if all this isn’t enough, their performance is also expertly choreographed, providing an engaging visual accompaniment to the music.
And finally, all proceeds from the show go to a hospice in Oxford, at which the boys have performed on numerous occasions. There literally could not be any more good reasons to go and see Out of the Blue.