REVIEW: Octave GLO 4th – At the GLO Auditorium, Motherwell

Vocal ensemble Octave return to the GLO Auditorium for their fourth annual charity concert and deliver a jewel-coloured kaleidoscope of music from the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries.

Any musical director who can programme songs as diverse as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Nella Fantasia’, ‘Puttin on the Ritz’, ‘Phil the Fluter’s Ball’ and Tom Lehrer’s ‘A Spring Song’ a barmy little ditty about “poisoning pigeons in the park” into a recital schedule and make it seem like the most natural marriage in the world deserves not only praise, but respect for bravery, creativity and a sure artistic vision: David Fisher your audience salutes you.

The programme of songs delivers something for every musical taste and as expected from this supremely talented ensemble, has as many surprises as familiar favourites, but always provides the best showcase for the singers. This year is no exception; highlights include Esther O’Hara’s version of Lloyd-Webber’s ‘Love Changes Everything’, Janis Cunningham’s ‘The Lady is a Tramp’ and the female members of the ensemble’s hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck-raising rendition of ‘Time to Say Goodbye’. The boys don’t do too badly either, each managing to let their big personalities shine through especially in their tongue in cheek delivery of the Monty Python classic ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’.

Always guaranteed to put a smile on your face and send you onto the street with a song in your heat, it is rare to find performers of this quality in the amateur spectrum. Octave are the ensemble to watch out for – do yourself a favour and catch them wherever you can.