REVIEW: Edinburgh Fringe – The Alleycats Contemporary a Cappella, C Venue C

This review was originally written for and published by The Public Reviews

The Public Reviews Rating: ★★★☆☆

Veterans of Last Choir Standing and finalists in the UK Voice Festival competition The Alleycats, return to the Fringe with a show of varied content and quality. The group’s 2012 performance doesn’t bring anything new to the a cappella field, comprising as it does the ubiquitous mash-ups and a safe set list of cover versions from Fleetwood Mac to Britney Spears but what elevates it above the norm is the enthusiasm and appealing personalities of the performers.

The group also has to be given credit for trying to vary the choreography and staging for each of their numbers, however it would have made more impact if a few of them could actually dance: despite the exuberance, there are more than a few looks of self-consciousness when trying to pull off the moves. A nice inclusion in the act though, is a section which gives the audience an insight into the creative process of making an a cappella version of a song, and shows how the disparate and often seemingly unharmonious parts come together to make the whole.

One serious quibble about the whole performance is the serious lack of power from the group, sitting three rows from the front rendered the soloists almost inaudible and the moment the rest of the group joined in they were inevitably drowned out by the voices around them.

This 50 minute show doesn’t break any new ground in either musical choice or staging but the winning personalities and the conviction and vivacity with which it’s performed more than make up for its shortcomings. A pleasant enough way to pass the early evening at the Fringe.

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