Kourtney Kardashian. Solange Knowles. Casey Affleck. What do these three figures have in common with In The Pink?
The answer is that they’re all struggling, perhaps unfairly, to get out from under the shadow of a much-more-famous sibling. For Oxford University ladies’ acapella group In The Pink, this sibling is their male equivalent and forerunner, perennial Fringe favourites Out Of The Blue.
It’s a tall order to live up to and this year’s iteration of ITP give it a valiant shot. Their programme is packed with bolshy tunes, whether they be disco hits or Beyonce barnstormers. These are strongly choreographed and supported by some surprisingly sharp beatboxing.
The problem is that, with a lineup composed largely of sweet-voice ex-choirgirls, In The Pink lack the bass necessary to create a proper impact. Adapting many of their songs to fit the group’s range results in offerings at the shriller end of the scale which lack texture somewhat. For example, their ‘Wonderwall’, brought in towards the end, though very competently arranged by musical director Hettie, loses the stonking cadence which is the song’s hallmark. Furthermore, Alex Clare’s pop-dubstep ‘Too Close’ is a brave attempt but lacks the wall of sound it requires.
In fairness, there are some left-field choices which work surprisingly well and should probably be explored further. For example, their version of One Direction’s ‘Beautiful’ is excellent and almost (almost) had me humming the tune as I left the theatre. Likewise, ‘Save Tonight’ was a welcome blast from the past with some lovely layering.
In The Pink try really hard but they’re a group with a lot to live up to. Their choice of material shows that the group is heading in the right direction but they’re still waiting for the powerhouse vocalist to stand at the group’s centre.