Semi-Toned: Toned Up!

If you like a capella, see this show. If you like dubstep, rap, pop or rock music, see this show. Essentially, if you have ever listened to a piece of music and had any response other than wanting to tear your own ears off, you will probably find something to please you in Semi-Toned’s set list.

Professional, but never loses the sense of self awareness and fun that is necessary in any student a capella group.

Indeed, perhaps the most impressive thing about this show is the variety of music that is covered. Radiohead mixed in with Olly Murs, Jay-Z with Paolo Nutini. One moment, you could hear a pin drop in the audience amidst a choral ballad, the next the whole room is clapping along to Muse’s Knights of Cydonia. All of this creates an excellent platform for the different talents which have come together to form this group and soloists are carefully paired with songs best suited to their voices for maximum effect.

Despite the impressive standard of their performance, there is the impression that this is not a group which takes itself too seriously. Those on stage are clearly having a great time and so we do too. The choreography is some of the most slick and inventive that I have seen from an a capella group at the Fringe, striking just the right balance between professionalism and comedic charm.

Musically, the group does not let itself down. The harmonies are tight and inventive and the soloists commanding. Occasionally, the soloists could perhaps benefit from a microphone to lift their voices above the rest, but this is really only on the very odd occasion and does not detract from the atmosphere of the show as a whole.

This show is charming and light, but with the occasional performance that is genuinely moving – the choral arrangement of Radiohead’s Motion Picture Soundtrack springs to mind. It is professional, but never loses the sense of self awareness and fun that is necessary in any student a capella group. This is perhaps the best example of a show of its kind that I have seen at the Fringe and more than worth your time.

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The Blurb

Fresh from their incredible ***** debut at last year’s Fringe and their award-winning performances at the Voice Festival's UK a cappella finals (Outstanding Overall Performance and Outstanding Arrangement), Semi-Toned return to Edinburgh leaner, meaner and keener than ever to showcase their trademark musical wit and charisma. All-male and all-man, Exeter University’s finest perform a non-stop 50 minute vocal workout. From pop to jazz and everything in between, it's guaranteed to get your heart racing and leave you breathless with laughter. ‘Glorious and triumphant 9/10’ ( ‘Flawless’ ***** (

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