Lighthearted A Capella Jazz on the Edinburgh Fringe


United KingdomUnited Kingdom Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015 (2) – The Oxford Gargoyles: C Venues, Edinburgh, 15.8.2015 (SRT)

The Oxford Gargoyles are a jazz a cappella choir who use scat in their arrangements of familiar tunes.  Think students-meets-Swingle-Singers and you’ll be halfway there.  I’d never come across them before this performance, but I found them hugely impressive.

Their scat style, with lots of da-ba-doos, is in danger of becoming naff, but I never felt it becoming tedious, from their pretty cool take on I could have danced all night (mingled nicely with Let’s Face the Music and Dance) to their much more gentle, even soulful arrangements of Nature Boy and Let it Be.

Their framing device (talking gargoyles) wore a little thin, and they were at their best when they just got on with the music, but their sense of humour goes in their favour, culminating in a self-mocking take on Shania Twain.

Best of all, I though, and paying light-hearted reference to their Oxford roots, was a great fun take on Choral Evensong where Stamford crashed into Play that Funky Music, and came of quite the better for it.  Magnific-scat and Funk Dimittis, indeed!

Simon Thompson

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe continues until 31st August at a range of venues across the city.  For full details click here.

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