The Bristol Suspensions in: A Suspension of Disbelief

A group of seventeen students from Bristol University that formed in September last year, The Bristol Suspensions are fairly new to the a cappella scene, but that does nothing to diminish their talent. They have put together an energetic and entertaining show, with alternating moments of levity and seriousness, sharing lines and verses between them that allow each performer to shine individually, as well as working together brilliantly as a group. The group’s beatboxer even has his own section of the show where he performs alone to show his skills and as well as this, the group also perform one song with just the boys and another with just the girls (and the beatboxer in a wig), to showcase their different styles and range of voices.

An excellent display of vocal talent, comedic timing and brilliant dance moves, The Bristol Suspensions are a new group to listen out for.

Beginning with a blend of Counting Stars and The Bad Touch, the group segue to a Miley Cyrus medley and songs by Taylor Swift, revitalising these well-known popular songs with their variations on the original melodies, as well as their fantastic choreography. During the Miley Cyrus medley, for example, they all become the plane for Party in the USA, and the group’s choreography for Wrecking Ball makes the song more silly than serious, and far more entertaining than the original. As well as playing these popular numbers and adding to them with clever and often hilarious dance moves, The Bristol Suspensions had quieter and more reflective moments as well, such as in their renditions of Budapest and Paloma Faith’s Just Be. Here the group stand as one, with only a couple of soloists, and let their voices, rather than the combination of vocals and dance, take centre stage.

These songs proved to be their strongest in terms of hearing the group’s power, range and quality; in a few of the more spirited numbers, the soloists were sometimes hard to hear over the sound of the beatboxer, accentuated by a microphone, or even the rest of the group backing them up. Although this was sometimes a problem in terms of hearing the lyrics, the group’s energy and enthusiasm never flagged, and it is very clear that they are having a blast and work well together; switching from the upbeat Uptown Funk to the building intensity of a Bastille medley. Then from the sombre Just Be to their group’s quirky mash-up of Anaconda and Moves Like Jagger, ending the show on a high note.

An excellent display of vocal talent, comedic timing and brilliant dance moves, The Bristol Suspensions are a new group to listen out for.

Reviews by Catriona Scott

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The Blurb

Making their Fringe debut, The Bristol Suspensions are a brand new 17-piece mixed a cappella group from Bristol University. Despite only being together since October 2014, they have already gained a mammoth repertoire, made their radio debut on BBC Radio Bristol, and qualified for the semi-finals of The Voice Festival UK. They are known for their energetic performances and original arrangements – this show will be no exception!

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