Out of the Blue

I remember the time when, several years ago, Out of the Blue came to my school and did an assembly. One of its members had been a student there, and wanted to come and visit again. In an arduous disarray of teenage angst, I remember distinctly thinking that I was far too cool for acapella, and swore I wouldn’t ever be caught at one of their shows, even if you paid me. All I can say is that I’m glad opinions change when you grow up.

Out of the Blue dances the afternoon away to the delight of an awestruck audience.

More polished than a can of Mr. Sheen, the dozen-strong group of Oxford students bursts onto the stage with well-justified, playful confidence. Each member is individually talented as they take the front of the stage during alternating solo parts, but I would argue that the group’s real strength lies in their ability to create such beautiful backing vocals. Forty minutes into the set and I was still astonished that every single audible sound was the product of the human voice, and that the complex score was the creation of someone’s exquisite musical intelligence. Tantalising the crowd with a moreish recipe of harmonisation, beatboxing and a general air of sophistication, Out of the Blue dances the afternoon away to the delight of an awestruck audience. There is something incredibly uplifting about watching people enjoy themselves on stage – so often a performer is concentrating on getting things correct that their own fun suffers, but the group managed to succeed on both levels. As they boogied up the aisles an infectious grin began to infiltrate the rows of seats, and soon everyone was on their feet.

With acapella comes a risk of it becoming corny. Whilst this is admittedly part of the charm, Out of the Blue manages to get the best of both worlds by incorporating both contemporary chart hits and more retro numbers in their routine. Alternating between genres in a set that included Justin Bieber and Footloose, they ensured that there was something for everyone, although I’m sure they could have made Amazon’s terms and conditions sound magnificent if they had tried that too.

A professional, fearless and heart-warming show, Out of the Blue will have you smiling from ear to ear. In the age of acapella there is a wealth of options from which to choose, but take my word for it: these boys are the real deal; these boys are pitch perfect.

Reviews by Matthew Sedman

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Performances

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The Blurb

Prepare to be hooked by Oxford's premiere all-male a cappella troupe! With over 15 million hits on YouTube, the Fringe's biggest selling student show is sure to bring smiles all round. Expect vocal acrobatics, eclectic repertoire, and ludicrous choreography which never fail to delight – for their fourteenth year in a row, Out of the Blue are well and truly back! Out of the Blue are proud to announce that their show will again be supporting Helen and Douglas House, the world's first children's hospice, based in their Oxford home.

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