Edinburgh Fringe 2011
When you combine the vocal talents of these 6 men with original arrangements of great songs, then add some tight choreography, and you have the recipe for this incredibly slick show.
A Cappella used to mean Gregorian chants, or recitatives in opera, or barbershop quartets and choruses, but that is no longer the case. A Cappella has been redefined, and The Magnets are a magnificent example of it. This group is made up of 6 wonderfully talented vocalists – 4 of whom do the majority of the singing in pitch-perfect harmony, one whose beat-boxing would make you swear there was a real drum kit hidden somewhere offstage, and then one incredibly rich bass.
I was unfamiliar with the Magnets until I attended this performance, so didn’t know what to expect, but it didn’t take long to work out why the Speigeltent was almost full, and why the group were welcomed to the stage like rock stars … not something that I would expect with a normal cabaret show!
From a musical perspective, I loved the fact that they had taken very popular songs, and uniquely arranged them for their own voices, and incorporated their individual skills into them as well. Microphones are used throughout the performance, but the sounds you are hearing are pure voices using vocal technique and harmony … very little technology is used to enhance their sound. My personal favourite of the evening was the rendition of “Rolling in the Deep” which included an impressive ‘drum solo’ by beat-boxer Andy Frost … how he maintains different rhythms and sounds is jaw-droppingly amazing – I have never before been a fan of beat-boxing, but this is skillful.
This show is slick. These performers work together like a well-oiled machine … the type of teamwork that is evidenced only by people who know each other and have worked together for a long time. Choreography is tight; musical interactions with the audience well-timed; all performers are at ease bantering with the crowd, and this is regular throughout the show … it’s a show that has all the elements to satisfy an enthusiastic crowd of all ages.
No matter what style of music you like, If you are offered the chance to see this group in action, take it. They are a group not to be missed.