Review: Over The Bridge
ANNA SHEINMAN swoons over the sweet singing eye candy.
Tuesday 2nd, 11, ADC, £4-6.
*** and a half (they were so cute).
The 9 rather sweet young men in all male acapella group ‘Over the Bridge’ had a little bit of luck at the ADC on Tuesday night: they got me as their reviewer. Honestly they could have done pretty much anything; if they’re male, and they can sing, I was probably going to fancy them. A few bones to pick first.
First of all: all male acapella, at UK world class university, in sloaney shirts and jeans, with beat-boxing and silly dance moves, name OTB… is this ringing bells for ANYONE? Oxford’s Out Of the Blue (OOTB – note all important second ‘O’), 2nd best in the world, these guys sadly are not. I’ve hero worshipped OOTB (confused yet?) since I first saw them at their sell out show, twice, in Edinburgh 2006. Change your name. Second: only sing a song from Glee if you want to be compared with the Accafellas. Third: only sing ‘Stacey’s Mom’ if you want to be compared to Blueprint. And if you’re going to deliver with the conviction and panache of the aforementioned, great, but otherwise they were setting themselves up for a massive fall.
But fall they did not. Ok there seemed to be a joke throughout that the audience got and I did not (is it because his voice is high? Is that funny?). And their lighting designer deserves to be shot for the painful strobes. But they were SO CUTE! Oh and have I said yet they can sing? They can! Strong voices from all but one (so why put him in the bright pink shirt?) and not a bum note to be heard. A set list full of family pop favourites was an audience pleaser, with songs like ‘Ain’t no sunshine’ delivering moments of real beauty in a way that only unaccompanied voices can. Some carefully crafted segues from one song to the next made the music geeks happy. The composition was excellent, and phrases from other songs being thrown in more subtly than some other acapella groups manage kept the audience on their toes. This was done especially well by the very talented counter-tenors. Physical comedy and dance moves drew some big laughs, which is an area they really didn’t capitalise on (watch some OOTB YouTube videos for tips) but hopefully they will make more of this when they play the May Balls.
Most importantly, I had a LOT of fun. An audience full of proud parents, choir mates, and shrieking female admirers meant there was a really convivial atmosphere, and it was undeniably entertaining. The undoubted highlight of my evening was the semi-improvised, hysterically funny, cat themed speech by the gorgeous Tom Verney (fancy a drink?), the comedy only added to by the bemused faces of the other singers, who clearly hadn’t heard it before! This lead neatly into a stonking rendition of ‘Everybody wants to be a Cat’ by the teeny-tiny Tom Keen, who was only matched in charisma by the trendily bespectacled Nick Mogg. If all nine had given as much physical commitment and enthusiasm as Mr Mogg did, their performance would have been over the bridge and out of this world.