The Sons of Pitches (Gilded Balloon, 7-13 Aug : 22.30 : 1hr)

“Their energy and stage presence was infectious”

Editorial Rating: 4 Stars: Outstanding

This is a Fringe show that has brought its own warm-up act. It may be a little arrogant, but once the real deal gets going it’s easy to see why – the sounds made by these lads with just their mouths was simply astonishing.

I’ve seen a lot of a capella groups, especially at the Fringe, and what I liked about these guys is that at just five members, compared to the usual twelve or so one might normally expect, they easily made it sound like there were several more of them on stage creating multiple levels. The layering and blend of voices in different parts is so on point that you can’t really tell who is singing what, while their energy and stage presence was infectious.

From one of the top vocal groups on the circuit, their basic “party pieces” were flawless, but this show attempted to combine a capella with comedy. Support act Love Heart came back on stage half way through to introduce a section where the group would improvise songs around a genre and subject. The improvisation itself delivered incredible attempts at traditional Irish, country and calypso music (all from audience suggestions), and I was desperate to have seen these developed further.

For me there was too much chat and not enough singing in this show, and although the interludes were enjoyable, that’s not what the majority of the audience were there to see.

While I won’t linger on some of the unfortunate vocal cracking from the singers at the higher end, the standout Son from this performance was undoubtedly Midé Adenaike. His beatboxing skills were jaw-droppingly fantastic, and particularly in the night’s closing number he stole the show.

For the most part this was an upbeat vocal party, but for me the real proof of an a capella group’s mettle is in their stripped back numbers. The Sons’ penultimate song was the self-penned Foundations, a ballad about stability within a relationship. Unfortunately without Adenaike on beats the group seemed a little lost, and although delivering a good performance, it wasn’t to the standard of their earlier tunes.

While this is a very impressive troupe with a lot to offer the world of a capella, in this performance they didn’t quite blow me away as much as perhaps they should have done, but it was still an incredibly enjoyable hour.

outstanding

StarStarStarStar

Reviewer: Steve Griffin  (Seen 7 August)

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THIS REVIEW HAS NOT BEEN SUBEDITED

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