All the King's Men Presents

Perhaps I’m experiencing a cappella fatigue, but the singers at this show did nothing to wow me particularly. It’s an interesting aspect of a cappella that the first time you hear ‘Cry Me A River’ you think it’s incredibly clever and creative, but by the third or fourth time, you begin to lose interest. That said, this late night show had a good structure, the proceeds from ticket sales will go to charity and it was compered by the likeable all-male King’s College London ten-piece, All the King’s Men.

There’s much to like about good a cappella music, but in order to stand out, it really pays to choose your material carefully.

Other acts to perform included In The Pink, an all-female twelve-part group from the University of Oxford. They embarked on ‘Cry Me A River’ in a v-formation, then broke out into some funky robotic dancing. Next we had a cover of The Feeling’s ‘Rose’, which started with a solo. The soloist had a lovely, delicate, vulnerable voice. The gradual inclusion of the other singers and the percussive accompaniment was genuinely moving.

Elsewhere, The Sons of Pitches, an all-male seven-piece from the University of Birmingham, were responsible for another rendition of ‘Cry Me A River’. After this, they sang an earnest ‘Wonderwall’ that read far more into the song than I imagine the Gallaghers ever envisaged.

It was then on to the second Oxford lot, a mixed-voice crew called The Oxford Alternotives with their rendition of ‘Superstition’. They sung a light and frothy version of ‘Lovely Day’ and the male soloist in this made the performance for me. He’s dapper, he’s got a great voice and he was well-supported by some natty percussive backing.

Finally, we had The Accidentals, an all-female group from St Andrews. ‘You Can Go Your Own Way’ was rather poor: the singer’s cracked, weepy voice sounded insincere. Then we were into more lively territory with a cover of Taio Cruz’s ‘Dynamite’.

All the King’s Men returned to finish off the evening with Olly Murs’ ‘Dance With Me Tonight’: standing in an inverted triangle, their backs facing us, each member slowly turned around – they moved well and there was even a spot of tap-dancing to send us off into the night.

There’s much to like about good a cappella music, but in order to stand out, it really pays to choose your material carefully – and pray that no one pinches it off you.

Reviews by Ella Moran-Jones

theSpace @ Symposium Hall

The Mercenary Fiddler AKA Elsa Jean McTaggart

★★★
The Jazz Bar

Nick Harper

★★★★
Acoustic Music Centre @ St Bride's

Mairearad and Anna

★★★★★
The Jazz Bar

Newt North

★★★★
Acoustic Music Centre @ St Bride's

John Renbourn and Wizz Jones

★★★
The Jazz Bar

Americana Road Trip

★★★★

Performances

The Blurb

All the King's Men (Voice Festival University Champions 2012 -13) present a thrilling a cappella showcase of some of the most mesmerizing groups on the current UK scene. Prepare for an ‘a ca-awesome’ night on the Fringe!