For the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the Fringe’s epicentre, Iain Donald provides a truly remarkable performance with The Voices of Lions, a choir group of students from Hampton School in London. Situated in the Canongate Kirk, The Voices of Lions equates a perfect location with a serene atmosphere in one of the Royal Mile’s best kept churches, creating an uplifting and rejuvenating experience.
Beginning with an early rendition of ‘Loch Lomond’, the choir creates a nostalgic tone and regales the stoic nationalism which Scotland prides itself upon. This is quickly extinguished by the arrival of a jaunty and upbeat quartet, before bursting into a comedic Broadway musical number.
The Lions’ stylistic range varies greatly from the swinging rhythms of Frank Sinatra’s ‘Blue Moon’ to the unforgettable rock of Queen. Though there are some shortcomings in the vocals of less confident singers, the choir’s individual weaknesses are unnoticeable as a group and the more talented voices are majestic on a solo level. A succession of contrapuntal, polyphonic texture creates a sublime mood for the audience to indulge in, whilst there is a consistent sense of consummate professionalism emanating from tenors and basses alike.
Even if you’re not a hardcore fan of choral music, there is much to like here. A highly enjoyable, peaceful yet rhythmic display of one of the best all-male choirs I’ve had the pleasure of watching. An acclaimed performance, The Voices of Lions lives up to its name and I would definitely recommend a visit.