Returning for their fourth consecutive Fringe season are the seasoned voices from Oxford University, who are celebrating twenty years of the ‘Alts’ with this new show.
The fourteen strong ensemble is drawn from various courses and colleges across the University of Oxford. They deliver a sparkling show of classic pop tunes and ballads, alongside songs currently riding high the charts, in a totally unique a capella performance.
The balance of the vocals is absolutely pitch perfect, with each member getting a chance to perform in the spotlight. The set includes excellent versions of songs as diverse as Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’, right through a spirited rendition of ‘Take Your Mama’. When the ensemble take on some particularly moving ballads like ‘Make You Feel My Love’, they truly touch the soul with their inspiring sound.
To break up the show, the ‘Alts’ deliver a funny take on blind dating, with the help of a couple of volunteers from the audience. They mix together some well known love songs to brilliant comedic effect and it must have been a difficult choice to pick which one of the singers to go on a date with.
The Alternotives’ setlist has style and ensures no one in the audience is left out. They certainly set the bar very high for other a capella groups. Their use of the usual mix of beat boxing combined with eight and even ten part harmonies makes this production fresh, modern and totally accessible, allowing a younger generation to hear exactly what live, un-microphoned, unaccompanied voices can achieve.
With snappy direction and even snappier pacing, the ‘Alts’ give an awesome hour’s performance that leaves the audience wanting more. The whole production is very reminiscent of Glee but in a far more polished and down to earth style. It’s obvious that this ensemble have spent many an hour rehearsing to achieve this excellent standard.
No one who attends this show will leave without having been completely entertained. The Alternotives’ show is vocal harmonies, raw talent, excellent song choice and, above all, pure stage presence at work.