Tag Archives: Ian McTier

REVIEW: Octave – 5till GLO-ing, GLO Auditorium, Motherwell

A quick glance around the packed auditorium is enough to tell you all you need to know about the popularity and quality of vocal ensemble Octave. Returning for their fifth outing at the GLO Auditorium, it’s another excellent programme of popular musical theatre standards, lesser known gems and classic pop hits.

As always, each member of the ensemble is given their chance to shine, but there are some standouts in this evening of quality performances: Esther O’Hara’s rendition of How Did We Come to This from The Wild Party is an emotive big hitter, as is The Sound of Music‘s eternal classic Climb Ev’ry Mountain from Carol Whitelaw.

This year the more obscure tracks outnumbered the big hitters with songs from Mame, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Man of La Mancha and Martin Guerre adding to more familiar classics from Evita, Les Mis and The Sound of Music. It’s an eclectic programme, and that is to be applauded, but if any criticism is to be made, it is that many of the tunes were emotionally similar in tone this year and as a result, it seemed as though there wasn’t as great a variety of light and shade – it is such a minor quibble though when there’s so much quality on display. The singing is universally top-notch and the production and staging utterly professional. To match the stunning singing, credit must also be given to the accompanying band who were on blistering form throughout.

Octave remain at the top of their game, still on unbeatable form – there are few vocal ensembles who could match their quality and professionalism. An evening of unquestionable quality from start to finish.

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.