Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Great a cappella singing, slick choreography and winning smiles from this 12 strong group from Oxford who mix perfect harmonies, comic dance and clever mime as they walk you through a selection of songs both ancient and modern.
Impresarios the world over are continually searching for the perfect recipe for a theatre production. Perhaps they should consider the combination of a sunny Edinburgh afternoon in the Fringe, twelve pleasant, cerebral young men, a helping of close harmony and a liberal sprinkling of sparkling choreography. Place in the cool air-conditioned surroundings of one of the Fringe’s most comfortable venues and simply leave for 50 minutes. Result? A perfect dish to set before even the most discerning of audiences.
Out of the Blue hail from one of Britain’s foremost educational establishments and have been regulars at the Fringe for a number of years winning plaudits for their unique brand of a cappella arrangements of the popular and the less well known. And to their polyphonic sound they add choreography that is both slick and amusing.
Forsaking last year’s rather cramped surroundings at C Central, this year’s troupe have taken up residence in the luxurious C Plaza on George Square where a packed audience was treated to music that ranged from the upbeat to the soporific. Starting with one of their signature pieces, “Don’t You Love me Baby”, they kept the energy levels up with tight renditions of “Bad Boys” and “Knock Me Off My Feet”. The mood changed as the twelve became a quartet for “I Kissed a Girl” before the pace picked up again with “Stacey’s Mum” and “Use Somebody”.
The strengths of this group are their vocal range (counter-tenor to genuine bass), their superb use of vocal percussion and their overall tonality. They produce pitch perfect harmonies every time and their musical interpretation and expression is impeccable. And the delivery of “Lullaby” – a relatively quiet piece juxtaposed between two rather more exuberant numbers – demonstrated their ability to subtly control the mood of the audience.
A couple more rousing numbers, a quick encore and we were done, far too soon for their paying public. But the old adage is to leave folks wanting more and there is no doubt that Out of the Blue did that. Perfect harmonies, timing and movement. In fact, the perfect recipe for entertainment.
And as you would expect from twelve such well bred young gentlemen, any profits accruing from this storming performance are going to charity, in this case Helen & Douglas House, a hospice in Oxford providing care for children and young adults.