Alternotive A Cappella

Student a cappella groups are not exactly a rarity at the Fringe, so often it can be difficult to decide which of the varied assortment of groups is actually worth going to see. For groups themselves, it is necessary to have something unique and original that sets them apart from the rest. The Alternotives provide this in snatches, while otherwise providing what is a satisfying fifty-five minutes of instrument-free bliss.

The group, clad in purple, white and black, excel when performing the slower numbers, with Jessie Reeves taking the solo in their sultry cover of Regina Spektor’s ‘Samson’, while Natasha Heliotis is simply astounding on Bonnie Raitt’s ‘Can’t Make You Love Me’, hypnotising the audience with her silky alto tones and some awe-inspiring riffs. The comedy highlight was a song about business socks, which was a wry comment on the expectations that each gender has from sexual interaction, one of which was eerily accurate.There were some weaknesses, mainly musical, particularly when there was a male lead, with the resulting lack of meaty bass notes leading to a few of the chords sounding a little empty. The beat boxing throughout could also have been stronger, although there were no problems with tempo and the pitching was nothing short of superb, especially the very top soprano, Olivia Willis, whose pure voice pierced through the blend angelically.

As for the ‘alternative’ element, the group hosted a blind date where they invited down two audience members, one male and one female, who were then blindfolded and serenaded by two Alternotives of the opposite sex. The boys were wonderfully creepy and the girls were just desperate enough to make the whole thing hilarious. A very entertaining interlude.

The Alternotives impress with perfect pitch, a funny set list and some very talented soloists. With a slightly more impressive wall of sound and more fleshy bass notes, this group could be outstanding. As it is, they’re well worth going to see.

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The Blurb

Oxford's longest established, award-winning a cappella group return for their third successive run. Combining stunning vocals and outrageous choreography with breathtaking arrangements of pop, funk, R&B, jazz, and everything in between, this is not to be missed!

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