A Cappella Sing-Off

This sing-off between Oxford’s ‘Out of the Blue’ and Cambridge’s ‘Cadenza’ was saved by its lack of pretension, says ZARA MEERZA.

Britain's Got Talent Cadenza Out of the blue West Road Concert Hall

“MUFASA!” yelled one of Out of the Blue, whilst performing their signature ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’. To much rapture and cooing the all male Oxford acappella group appeared shoeless and grinning in what Cadenza member Julius Handler called an “Out of the Blue sandwich”.

Known for their stint on Britain’s Got Talent, OOTB certainly knew how to ham it up for the audience in performing fun high-octane versions of everyone’s favourite guilty pleasures. Presenting everything from Katy Perry’s ‘California Girls’ to Taio Cruz’s ‘Dynamite’ amongst many more familiar pop songs, the group collapsed these familiar numbers into one mind boggling medley after another. Leaping into the audience, jumping around like monkeys and performing some pretty hilarious dance moves throughout their set, OOTB shone in their ability to musically entertain and look, endearingly, like they were having the time of their lives whilst doing so.

Both opening and closing the show, Cambridge’s own Cadenza worked their way through an increasingly engaging performance, at their best when physically making the most of the West Road stage and the vocal range at their disposal. Their interpretation of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Cry Me A River’ displayed this impressively, as did their versions of ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ and ‘Fields of Gold’.

While overshadowed somewhat by OOTB’s choreography and Glee-esque mash-ups at first, the mixed voice group truly came into their own when exploring those options more fully (and humourously) at the end of their set, taking the stage back with their finale.

It was basically like this

Though marred a little with panto-esque call and response audience participation at times, this friendly “sing off” displayed the impressive talent and variation that exists within both these Oxford and Cambridge acappella groups, and how much of an enamoured audience awaits them.

While we’re often at odds with “the other place”, in this instance coming together proved that a lot of fun can be had when there’s talent about – but it was made all the better by the ability to poke fun at itself in the process.