a Cappella with Catitude,The Alleycats
Reviewed by: Daniel Regan
It’s statistically likely that if you amble along the High Street with an SLR camera, an oversized USA T-Shirt and a warm yet acutely vacant expression then by the time you reach St. Giles you’ll have been coaxed into seeing sixteen different a cappella shows.
Ok I’m exaggerating slightly, but the Alleycats have serious competition in 2011. The St. Andrews group are back for their second fringe and bring a fragrant and diverse repertoire.
To begin with, there’s a stirring quality to the music, and you can sit in the back row listening and appreciating (even if you’re not certain what you are appreciative of). The most effective are the lively, upbeat, choreographed numbers, where the benefits of layered voices are felt. There’s an egalitarian distribution of solos, which unfortunately deprives the audience of hearing the best singers and leaves them stranded with the worst – still they are perfectly harmonised and very tight.
Each song isn’t a straight cover of a pop tune; there’s careful consideration to how the songs work in a group. The rhythmic and vocal embellishments they add are welcome but can verge toward the excessively ‘musical theatre’ or worse to singing flat. By far the best song was a cover of Dizzee Rascal: here we get the clearest taste of the energy and dynamism that should set this group apart at the Fringe. Worth a visit for those interested in a cappella.