Out of the Blue Make It Four out of Four

In the third Regional Round of the Voice Festival UK 2012, 2010 winners Out of the Blue continued the male dominance of the competition by booking their place in the final, after pipping The Ultrasounds, The Oxford Belles, In The Pink, The Oxford Gargoyles and The Oxford Alternotives earlier this evening.

The boys in blue have thus continued their impressive record of qualifying for every single Voice Festival Final since the tournament’s inception, and due to Cadenza’s withdrawal this year, will be the only group in the country to have done so.

With three all-male groups through to the final, who will join them next weekend at the Bristol and St Andrews Regionals?

A full review of tonight’s show will be available shortly.

Sons of Pitches Reach First Ever Final

In the second of five Regional Rounds, Birmingham-based all-male group The Sons of Pitches progressed to their first ever final, and will join All The King’s Men in London on March 10th for the final. They finished ahead of debutants Voice Versa and 95 Keys, the latter being the first group to ever compete from the University of Leeds, as well as all-female second-time participants The Birmingham Songbirds.

The Sons of Pitches have seen a steady increase to their fanbase in the last year, having gigged around Birmingham, both under a roof and out on the streets, and this success is sure to further boost their ever increasing reputation.

Congratulations to the boys, and the rest of the groups involved.

A full review of tonight’s performances will be up in the next few days.

London A Cappella Festival 2013 Dates Released!

It may seem like only yesterday that we were down in London celebrating the best a cappella that the UK (and the rest of the world) had to offer at the London A Cappella Festival 2012.

But while there was some ground-breaking performances, workshops and even a cappella discussions, it’s time to look forward. As such, LACF have released their dates for the Festival next year.

The Festival, curated by the Swingle Singers, will take place from 23rd-26th of January 2013 and will be sure to provide some more sensational a cappella from all over the world. With huge names like FORK, Cadence and The Boxettes participating earlier this year, as well as several university groups including Cadenza, All The King’s Men and The Techtonics, it is definitely something for every British A Cappella fan to look forward to.

We can’t wait!

For more information about the Festival, visit their Official Website.

Event Review: VF-UK 2012 London Regional Round

On Saturday 11 February 2012, the Voice Festival 2012 University Competition kicked off in fine style at The Greenwood Theatre in London before a willing and sizeable audience.

Before we get to the review, a quick summary of the show:

The Competitors:

ALL THE KING’S MEN from King’s College, London
THE KING’S CHIX from King’s College, London
THE TECHTONICS from Imperial College, London
THE IMPERIELLES from Imperial College, London
FITZ BARBERSHOP from the University of Cambridge

The Hosts:

FAT KITTEN IMPROV

I was really looking forward to the newcomers and the first all-female group The Imperielles. They were wearing black and white but there was otherwise no real conformity to their outfits. They opened the evening with Bruno Mars’ Grenade, which, considering the group are newly formed, was very impressive. They did suffer from a classic a cappella problem, that of hopping aboard the rhythm rollercoaster and speeding up significantly throughout the song, but otherwise it was a solid effort, with solid vocals and solid backing, although their decision to incorporate Rollin’ In The Deep into the song was an odd one, and the transition into it was rather awkward, but otherwise it was a strong finish and a strong first impression from the newbies.

Their next song was by the late Amy Winehouse, Back To Black. The backing was a little repetitive in the first verse and chorus, but when the solo turned into a duet, the song livened up considerably, despite the backing not changing all that much. Some great harmonies on the duet. After the breakdown, which involved some nice blocked chords, there was a key change (gotta love a key change), but unfortunately this was marred by a few pitching issues. All in all a good middle song, but the lack of variety to the backing made it a little stagnant towards the end.

The group finished with Florence and The Machine’s Dog Days Are Over, which began with a choral feel which translated through the entire song, but there was a moment before the first chorus that had a twang of jazziness to it which I thought was rather cool. The soloist was on the whole superb, despite a little shoutiness towards the top end, and their was a lovely break for one of the natural sopranos to take over towards the middle, which was very pleasant. Overall a good first outing for the girls, who will improve in the future and will definitely be ones to watch in the future.

Fitz Barbershop were up next, and wore their typically quirky attire of straw hats, varying coloured waistcoats and, like the other all-male groups, dark trousers, a combination which instantly made them more interesting to look at than any of the other groups in this round. They introduced themselves, both in song as a group and then in the spoken word individually, which was different, before launching into a love-based set, kicking off with a upbeat version of Leona Lewis’ Bleeding Love, which contained more ‘Doo-Wop”s than a Hansen song. While the soloist wasn’t as strong as in the previous groups, the choreography was quirky and amusing, and I admired their efforts to quicken-up a slow song, which they managed generally very well.

They merged effortlessly into Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart, in which the group mimicked the lyrics by turning around with varied and amusing facial expressions each time the lyrics were sung. The piece was far from perfect musically, with the falsetto solo efforts probably the weakest, but again the choreography was thoroughly entertaining and really showed off the reason why the group made the final in 2010 through winning the Ward Swingle Award for Originality, as they are like no other group in this competition.

Again, without pausing, they moved into the barbershop classic Heart of My Heart, at which point they moved off the stage and began to serenade one lucky audience member. Again, they weren’t musically perfect, but they were the closest they had been since the set began, with chords blending nicely together and allowing the group to really revel in their roots. This song was quickly replaced by Jose Gonzalez’ Heartbeats, which again demonstrated the group were able to sing in close harmony without the quirky choreography. While both songs were good, neither really required an outstanding soloist, and this is probably the weakest area of this group. However, I admired their boldness to merge their entire set together, really playing to their strength, and they deserved the gratuitous applause at the end of the set.

The Techtonics, in their simple but effective red-shirt and black-trouser combination, prepared us for an ‘evening of ground-breaking a cappella’ during their opening Overture, despite it being halfway through the evening, before kicking straight into Orson’s No Tomorrow. The problem with a group covering a song which is a personal favourite is that you tend to know the song almost back to front: where it swells, fades and climaxes. On the whole, the song was covered well, with an excellent soloist, but the group took a while to fully get into the song – whether that be through nerves or just due to the arrangement – and there was little dance routine to speak of, although the poses that the boys struck during the second verse were amusing, if a little unoriginal. However, the song became most effective when the group broke it down to two soloists and a beatboxer, before launching once again into the impressive chorus after a sweet money note from the soloist. All in all, an energetic and generally impressive start.

The group then went into their third song, which was U2′s Sunday Bloody Sunday, which started off slowly with a beautiful lead bass vocal and some nice locked chords, which was then followed by a tenor soloist taking over on the slightly more upbeat part. Unfortunately the top of his range occasionally sounded a little crass and, for me, ruined the lulled effect that the opening had created. I appreciate that the song did become more upbeat, as the backing vocals indicated, but I feel a little more of a softer approach was necessary on this solo. Nevertheless, the two soloists combined towards the end of the piece for the best moment of the song, despite the tenor harmony drowning out the bass melody somewhat.

The fourth and final song from the boys was Labrinth’s Earthquake, not only living up to their name but their promise towards the start of their set. The song began with the boys singing in choir-stall fashion to another bass soloist, and for a moment I thought: “Haven’t we already seen this?” However, my fears were quickly quelled as the boys bounced (literally) into the quick-paced chorus, led by yet another impressive tenor, which became a fun-filled a cappella romp, with the boys clearly enjoying themselves. It really was a superb performance which unsurprisingly got the audience going, and while not perfect musically, the song received deservedly the biggest applause of their set.

The King’s Chix looked rather stunning in their all black dresses, and they opened with a rather fun adaptation of Everybody Wants To Be A Cat, or in their case, a chick. The only really interesting thing about the song was the changed lyrics however, as the actual arrangement was pretty plain, but they received a good reaction from the audience and it was nice to have another more personalised number to open the set.

The girls then spread out across the stage for Adele’s Someone Like You, which was suitably toned down and slowed down and the soloist was note perfect. The song did drag a little bit, but the soloist’s voice was extremely pleasant and one which I could have listened to for hours on end. Indeed, the whole song was very easy to listen to. Whether or not it was competition standard is a matter of opinion, but it was certainly very easy on the ears. It did, however, really pick up in the final couple of minutes, with some superb descants and harmonies, and all in all was a very impressive second song from the girls.

Their final song was a mash-up of Lady Marmelade and I Love Rock and Roll, which had a couple of pacing problems, but was certainly more of a mash-up than All The King’s Men’s final song. Despite tuning issues towards the end, and a couple of moments of deadness during the song, it was received well on the whole and was a relatively good ending to a solid set, and one which probably highlighted their strength as being slow, tuneful ballads rather than upbeat numbers.

Last year’s finalists All The King’s Men closed the show, wearing their classic blue/purple shirts and dark trousers, and opened with a mash-up of two Lady GaGa songs, Born This Way and Edge of Glory. I have criticised the group for their over-reliance on mash-ups before, but in this case, it was a masterstroke. Right from the start, you could tell the group had just a little more musicality to the chords than in The Techtonics’ opener, and although the soloist wasn’t as strong, the arrangement (not to mention the choreography) was better. The boys were strongest while harmonising in unison, but the whole song was fun, bouncy and well arranged, particularly the transition into Edge of Glory and the glorious ritardando and blocked chords of the finish, ending the song in a very classy way. Impressive start.

Their second song was Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, a song which has been covered to death and is also rather repetitive, and as such I was slightly worried that they would be unable to offer anything new or interesting to the song, while quietly hoping they would prove me wrong. The first couple of verses did drag a little bit, but by the time they reached the second chorus, and were adding dainty little descants, the song became less of a cover and more their own arrangement. However, despite their efforts in the final verse and chorus, they were unable to really bring the song to a real climax, and while the soloist was good throughout, the song was never anything sensational – well sung, well arranged and well performed, but decidedly normal, and I definitely think they could have chosen something more unique.

The group closed with a cover of The Weather Girls’ It’s Raining Men and Robbie Williams’ Let Me Entertain You, which was slightly stylised to coincide with their ‘punny’ nature as It’s Reigning Men. The outstanding feature of this song was the choreography, which, when in unison was almost always synchronised, and when not in unison provided each and every member the opportunity to unleash their creativity in a way other than singing, which was extremely refreshing and meant you could never take your eyes off the stage. I was almost disappointed when they merged into Let Me Entertain You, as I felt the original song still had a lot more to offer. Indeed the second half of the mash-up was weaker, as I felt the chords on the chorus could have been more interesting and varied, and towards the end of the piece they began ‘step-clapping’, which I am not a fan of. An amusing finish didn’t quite make up for it, and I sometimes just feel the boys should have more confidence in their ability to arrange one song, rather than mash a second one into it. A mash-up should involve both songs being sung at once, and this one only provided one after the other. A solid effort nevertheless and a great finish to a top evening of a cappella.

Verdict:

For me, it was a two-horse race – I feel The Techtonics had the better arrangements and slightly better soloists than All The King’s Men, whereas the latter were better choreographed, had an extra sense of musicality to them, and their overall set was probably just a little bit tidier than the former. Fitz Barbershop were my outside choice, as their quirkiness and boldness to maintain a flow-through set may have earned them credit with the judges. The King’s Chix did well, but weren’t quite as consistent as the all-male groups, and The Imperielles were very good in their first outing but I think it would be unfair to expect them to qualify. So for me, I saw All The King’s Men reaching their second final, despite the stiffer competition this year.

Awards:

Outstanding Performance: The Techtonics for ‘Earthquake’
Outstanding Soloist: David Verhoeven of the Techtonics for ‘No Tomorrow’
Outstanding Choreography: Henry Southern and All The King’s Men

Winner:

ALL THE KING’S MEN

So our readers were correct in predicting that All The King’s Men would reach the final. Who else will join them? Find out next weekend at the Birmingham (25th Feb) and Oxford (26th Feb) Regionals!

All The King’s Men Make Second Successive Final

In the first of the five Regional Rounds of the Voice Festival UK, which took place earlier this evening, it was revealed that All The King’s Men were to become our first 2012 Finalists, after they saw off competition from Fitz Barbershop, The King’s Chix, The Imperielles and The Techtonics to reach their second successive final.

The boys from King’s College London have had a very successful year since last year’s tournament, including a US Tour and a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last August, and will be hoping to build upon these experiences as they head to the final on March 10th. The group are actually flying out to America next weekend for another US Tour, so stay tuned for a exclusive interview with the group about that.

In the meantime, congratulations to All The King’s Men, and we’ll see you at the Final in March!

A full review of tonight’s competition will be up in the next few days.

Who will reach the Final of the Voice Festival UK? Poll Results!

For the last month and a half, our readers have been voting on five separate polls, one for each Regional Round, and giving us their opinion on who they think will be competing in the final on 10 March in London. With the first Regional Round taking place tomorrow in London, our polls have finally closed and the results are in.

With a total of 206 votes cast in total, we firstly want to thank everyone for voting and sharing their opinion!

In the Oxford Regional, the overwhelming fan favourites are Out of the Blue, who received almost half of the entire share of votes. The 2009 Champions, who ended up finishing 2nd in the ICCA Final in New York that same year, have never failed to reach a VF-UK final and they must feel confident of maintaining this record, particularly with their success in Britain’s Got Talent in April and another sensational Edinburgh Fringe run in August. The group are really setting the standard for a cappella in the UK, and must be considered one of the favourites for the entire competition. Following them are the The Oxford Gargoyles with one fifth of the vote, and as I commented in my initial preview, are probably Out of the Blue’s main competition. They won the competition more recently than Out of the Blue, in 2010, but were beaten by the boys to the final last year and will be looking to even the score. Their unique style of a cappella will bring something different to the Oxford Round as always, and on their day, they are one of the best collegiate groups in the country and absolutely stand a chance. The Oxford Belles, The Alternotives and new boys The Ultrasounds all finished with a similar number of votes, but with only the Belles having reached the final before, all three groups will need to be on top form to progress in probably the toughest of all the Regionals. In The Pink gained the least amount of votes, and the girls in pink will be hoping their new blood will help them to spring a surprise.

 

According to our readers, the favourites to progress from the St Andrews Regional are The Other Guys, who secured one third of the overall vote. The group will feel confident after recent successes, particularly their viral video, Royal Romance and the resulting album, but the group have not qualified for the final since the inaugural competition in 2009, and therefore must up their game in order to progress. Their main rivals are officially the best all-female group in the UK, The Accidentals, who were the winners of this Regional last year and will feel confident of repeating this success, having now qualified for two years’ running. The Hummingbirds and The Alleycats are similarly favoured, with the Alleycats having qualified twice before. Interestingly, the two non-St Andrews groups, Choral Stimulation and newbies Aberpella, are the least-backed groups, but Choral Stimulation did win ‘Outstanding Performance’ last year and may well have a chance.

 

Last year’s finalists All The King’s Men are the favourites to qualify out of this weekend’s London Regional, managing to acquire over half of the overall vote. With the group set to go on tour to the US a week after the Regional, they will be hoping to go there with the prospect of a final to look forward to upon their return. They do, however, have more competition than this poll suggests. The Techtonics competed in the Vocal Marathon in Croatia last summer, and have also competed in the Voice Festival longer than their King’s College compatriots. They also won ‘Outstanding Performance’ last year and could stand a good chance. The other group who have reached the final before, Fitz Barbershop, will be hoping their migration from the defunct Cambridge Round will carry them to their second final. The King’s Chix and The Imperielles are the two all-female groups (interestingly no mixed groups in this Regional) and will want to defy the odds and impress enough to reach the final themselves.

 

In Birmingham, unlike the other three rounds, the fan favourite is less than obvious, although it does appear to be a two horse race between The Birmingham Songbirds and Sons of Pitches, with both groups claiming all but one vote in the course of the poll. And understandably so – both groups, unlike Voice Versa and 95 Keys, have competed in the competition before, albeit only once, and this experience could be absolutely crucial to their chances. It would be nice to see the Songbirds qualify, as the three favourites so far have been all-male groups, but it’s really a tough one to call. The two newcomer groups will undoubtedly learn from the experience and may even be good enough to make the final… Only time will tell.

 

The final Regional in Bristol also has an all-male group as the favourite – Semi-Toned have been working very hard since their inception, and despite being a relatively new group and first time competitors, are highly favoured, even over previous competitors The Sweet Nothings and The University of Bristol Barbershop Singers, who received the least amount of votes, alongside Bath’s first group Aquapella. Semi-Toned’s biggest competition is the competition-focused HotTUBBS, who seem to be favoured over their parent group, but in this brand new Regional, anything could happen.

 

So, according to our readers, the final on 10 March will consist of four all-male groups and one all-female group: Out of the Blue, The Other Guys, All The King’s Men, Semi-Toned and The Birmingham Songbirds. Surely our mixed groups will have something to say about that? Whatever happens, we wish every group the best of luck in the coming weeks, and look out for our event reviews as we find out our Final line-up!

LACF Diary – Day 3

by John Lau

Going into the last day of the 2012 London A Cappella Festival, I was thinking that it was going to be a big ask to provide many more highlights than the number enjoyed to date. At the same time, I didn’t know what to expect of the three workshops taking place in the morning and afternoon, as I had never experienced one before.

The first workshop was advertised as a Voice Camp, but I was surprised to find that once all seven Swingle Singers had taken to the stage, they had us members of the audience on our feet to attempt all sorts of exercises involving our foreheads, our feet, our speed of reaction and even involving the person next to us. Joanna Forbes-Eteson, one of the Swingle Women, justified these exercises when she said that they were meant to de-stress the body in advance of vocal warm-ups. Thankfully for me, I had just about recovered from the previous morning’s Vocal Jog to take a full part in this training session.

Now I am not a doctor, but I was even more surprised when Sara Brimer (at least, I think it was her who said this) suggested that every muscle in our bodies is inter-connected and somehow manifests itself in our vocal output when we sing. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable learning session, and now I know that preparation of the body as well as the voice is key to delivering a public singing performance worthy of the audience’s adulation, whenever the next opportunity arises.

The second workshop was now half an hour away, but in the meantime, the latest foyer performance featured the Amersham A Cappella Choir (an all-female choir with women of all ages), whose talent had earnt them the gold medals in the Ladies Association of British Barbershop choir competition, so I sat down and enjoyed their wide repertoire of ballads, jazz and barbershop renditions.

The second workshop was about Improvisation and was led by Pete Churchill, the head of one of our acts for this evening’s musical festivities, which, like many of the excellent events I attended throughout the weekend, overran slightly while I and the rest of our audience tried to perfect our rendition of “Change In My Life” by Billy Strauss, most recently heard on the current album from the Oxford Gargoyles.

Sadly, this resulted in us missing most of the next foyer performance, by a group of women called Run who specialise in Gaelic music. As a young man brought up in the Scottish Gaelic language on a remote island in the north west of Scotland, I was so very keen to find out whether they were going to sing in the language I was taught or Irish Gaelic, which is somewhat different. It may have been a pleasant surprise to see such a group who have taken their voices to the Celtic Connections Festival now on in Glasgow, but in the end most of their repertoire was in Irish Gaelic, which I still have some time for because of Enya, so for the short while I saw them it was a pleasant surprise to see minority languages such as Manx, Welsh and Gaelic being brought to the fore.

The Cottontown Chorus 'taking flight' during their performance of 'Go Fly A Kite'

The first gig of the day was upon us in mid-afternoon when the Cottontown Chorus from North West England came down. All 56 singers of them provided quite a sight with their uniform of crimson coloured shirts and suit jackets. With this many singers, I was convinced that this was the largest choir I had ever seen anywhere and in conversation with them in the upstairs Rotunda Bar & Restaurant after their gig, they definitely enjoyed their limited time here, which is what this festival is all about. The undoubted highlight of their short 5-piece set was their closing piece which encouraged us all to ‘Go Fly a Kite’ as written by Richard M Sherman (which I’m sure we would all have done had the organisers left one on our seats), but either way there were plenty enough kites in the hall when each member of the choir revealed their own kite that had been concealed within their uniforms. It was all great fun and I enjoyed their impromptu sing-along in the upstairs bar & restaurant after their gig. They were ably supported by the award-winning quartet named Crossfire featuring the Cottontown Director, Mr Neil Firth and some friends of his with whom they won the Quartet Gold Medal at the British Association of Barbershop Singers in May 2011.

The Cottontown gig finished and we came out to a foyer performance from a group of 10 young female pupils & students named A Cappella Amour, who have been in demand, having impressed the masses with their varied repertoire and virtuosity. To some of their number, this is another singing outlet as there is a proportion of the group who are also with national organisations such as the National Children’s Choir and the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. I was particularly impressed with their rendition of ‘And So It Goes’ written by Billy Joel many moons ago in the 1980s. I find there is something quite unique about this group – because of the age range being 14-19, they have to take into consideration High Schools as well as Universities & Colleges within their catchment area of Greater London, How they find the time to rehearse is beyond me, but in any case, these guys are definitely a group of individuals to keep an eye on.

The last workshop was upon us before we knew it and this was about the concept of live looping – a term which I had never heard of. Our hosts for this session the FreePlay Duo introduced the Loop station device which is designed to record loops and have them accompany whatever is being sung at the time. With a definition like this, I guess it would be used for the likes of backing vocals or for small groups of singers between 2 (like our hosts) and 6. It was quite an education and although I personally likened it to an instrument of sorts (as it can come in the form of a pedal), this was an useful introduction to a somewhat useful device.

By half 4, I had heard enough of people talking about how to perfect a group’s a cappella performance, so I decided to put a wide berth between myself any Festival-related activity for a while. This meant that I missed out on the foyer performance by The Refrains group of a cappella alumni and the 5 o’clock panel discussion, instead deciding to go and get something for dinner nearby. My loss was definitely other people’s gain. I will console myself though by the knowledge that The Refrains have been known to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (in which case I shall keep an eye out for them in about 4 months’ time, when the programme comes out) and also that some of the subject matter which may have been discussed at the panel discussion has also been discussed on this site, both here and here

Suitably fed, I made my way back to King’s Place for the last night of the Proms .. sorry, Festival, to enjoy the festivities. First up in support was the Freeplay Duo from Canada, as well as their friend the Loop station device. From their short five-piece set, I quite enjoyed the way they managed to send us on a journey across the world without having to leave our seats, through combining and recombining all sorts of different sounds (such as the combination of a hip jazz melody with an ancient Indian solkattu instrument) rather than any individual piece.

Next up was a group of about fifteen students and alumni from various jazz courses at the 2 Conservatoires of London & the South East of England, under the guise of the London Vocal Project. From a solid foundation in gospel and groove music, the group has metamorphosed since 2008 into an impressive, highly versatile ensemble with an ever growing repertoire. From their set of seven items, which included a homage to the acclaimed artist Bobby McFerrin with whom the group sang recently, my own personal highlight here was their rendition of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Love’s in Need of Love Today’, largely because of the smooth voice of the male soloist, which reminded me quite a lot of the artist Seal from the 90s.

The Brown Derbies performed in the Foyer.

We were treated on our way out of the London Vocal Project to the sight of almost cowboy-like uniforms all the way from the United States as the 16 or so Brown Derbies singers were starting their foyer performance, having only got to London the previous evening all the way from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. These boys are known for enhancing the quality of their live performances with factors such as humour, choreography and even their unique slant of using syllables on background vocals. For the little while that I managed to see them on stage, they looked quite the sight. And they think big as well (but then in the US, who doesn’t?) for they even have a range of non-musical merchandise for sale, which I found sweet, but it’s just a pity they don’t sell replicas of the hats they were wearing during their performance. But that’s another matter.

Leaving the cowboys behind, I made my way in for the finale gig aptly named “Swingles & Friends”. And from one group of Americans to another, we were introduced to Euphonism from Washington DC, who were making their first appearance as a group outside the United States this evening and supporting the hosts for the second time in 10 months. Of their four-piece set, I was quite impressed with their sassy rendition of Duffy’s ‘Mercy’.

The audience was well and truly warmed up now for the emergence of the legendary hosts and curators of this Festival, The Swingle Singers. For the closing statement in the programme which said that they “are committed to bringing the versatile world of a cappella to the masses”, I did find it somewhat disappointing that this gig was not simulcast on the Internet like the same gig was in 2011, which made it a blessing for me that if nothing else that I was there to enjoy the gig in person. The highlights which prove that the Swingles are so versatile in terms of repertoire were their renditions of Beyonce’s ‘Single Girls (Put a Ring on It)’ and Bach’s ‘Badinerie’, which I enjoyed immensely. The friends that were welcomed on stage at different stages of the gig were Albert Hera, Kevin Fox’s former group Cadence, the FreePlay Duo and the London Vocal Project.

The Single Singers

This was not though, the last musical act at this Festival. The Single Singers project was created exclusively for this Festival by a Netherlands-based fan, Mrs Annemarie Homan who concocted a plan to gather individual singers on a Facebook page and see whether they could perform as a group with 2 practice sessions. There was not quite a roll-call of individuals, but I am hopeful that you can spot a single singer you may know somewhere on the photo.

And that was the London A Cappella Festival 2012. 3 days of pure enjoyment based on the unaccompanied human voice and all it is capable of. Here’s to the next opportunity, and here’s hoping that the Swingle Singers may be compelled to do what the Refrains, All The King’s Men and the Magnets have done (In other words, come to Edinburgh in August!)