I Got Rhythm

CATHERINE AIREY has a ball at CUPO’s latest offering, ‘I Got Rhythm’.

catherine airy concert cupo i got rhythm west road

At only £6 a ticket, CUPO’s ‘I Got Rhythm’ was a real bargain. It won’t be a night I’ll forget in a hurry, if ever!

The West Road Concert Hall was the perfect venue for an event of this scope and magnitude. My first impression of the building was that it was very airy and spacious. The Music Faculty had been transformed by the inspired Decs team with the help of some well-positioned mood lighting which, combined with the starry backdrop outside, made everything (and everyone) look really magical.

A blank canvas

The committee clearly spent their budget where it was most needed – on the entertainment itself rather than on things like fancy programmes and tickets. That isn’t to say they didn’t pay attention to detail. I realised half way through the night that my programme had a colouring in section, which was a real surprise and delight. Another nice touch was that we were all given a raffle ticket as a little gift when we arrived. I think I must have been in the toilet when they were announcing the winners, so I can’t tell you what the prizes on offer were. But still – great idea! Trinity take note.

The entertainment really stood out for me as a highlight of the night. Simon Nathan, once again, did an incredible job in organising one of the most unique and fun concerts of the term. His liveliness and enthusiasm really shone out in the music. A professionally high standard was maintained throughout without any of the pretentiousness I usually associate with these events.

Gershwin’s ‘I Got Rhythm Variations’ was a lively start to the night. Ben Comeau’s piano solo in it can only be described as epic – he managed to sneak in cheeky references to several pop songs, and even a fugue on ‘I Got Rhythm’! This could only have been improved with some tunes from The Hunger Games I feel.

Simon Nathan’s orchestration of Bartok’s Sonata was also really exciting. It was clearly a difficult piece to play but everyone pulled it off really well. But the best bit and the highlight of the night and evening was undoubtedly the Jurassic Park set which really transported me to another place and time.

Next up was Pirates of the Caribbean where the orchestra was again super tight and the percussion section particularly were on top form. I especially enjoyed the shit fake marimba sound Frankie Rogers sneakily got out of the xylophone using her soft sticks – nice try!

Finally, Rodeo was good but quite long, leaving me a bit tired after it finished. But then the encore perked me up a lot because I hadn’t been expecting it. It wasn’t listed in the programme but I went with it anyway and had fun. YOLO.




I enjoyed the music so much that I actually didn’t get to sample any of the food and drink on offer. I was assured by a trustworthy friend though that both were amazing, particularly the delicious hog roast and eclectic cocktail selection. Good shouts!

Even towards the end of the night the committee managed to keep the venue looking really clean and tidy. There were lots of bins dotted around everywhere which was really practical, though I did notice that a few people seemed to have dropped their raffle tickets on the floor. Perhaps next year these could be incorporated into a wristband – I’d be really happy to pay an extra pound for something like this.

Another micro criticism would be that I think some of the guests were a bit confused by the dress code. Perhaps they didn’t get the memo, because I seemed to be one of the only people wearing a ball gown. Still the mish-mash of costumes didn’t stop everyone having a great time. I just wish the night could have gone on for longer, particularly all the solo performances which gave me goosebumps in a good way rather than because you’re cold which I wasn’t because it was actually perfect temperature in the venue.

This year’s theme – I Got Rhythm – was a bit of a niche one, but I had a bit of an epiphany about it half way through the night while I was doing my colouring in. The music really did have rhythm to it, which was clever. Even more importantly, though, rhythm is something we tend to forget about during the hectic Cambridge terms. It was really nice to be reminded that there is rhythm in life, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.


Food and drink – 5/5

Wow factor – 5/5

Value for money – 5/5

Star attraction – colour-in programmes

Biggest turn off – confusing dress code