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Out Of The Blue
Published on Saturday, 29 August 2009

This is the fifth consecutive year Out of the Blue have been on the Fringe, and during that time they've built up quite a considerable fanbase. Every song they performed was greeted by rapturous applause afterwards, even the slow and tender ones. Such was the atmosphere that, during their rendition of Tom Jones' Sex Bomb, I was half-expecting undergarments to be flying onto the stage. Yup, these guys could probably sell out even if they just sang scales and arpeggios.

There really isn't much to say about this 14-man a cappella sensation that hasn't already been said. Simply put, they're very good. The quality of the male vocals in this show is head and shoulders above most of the musical offerings in Edinburgh this year. You also have to sit back and admire the energy and commitment they put into their on-stage performance; this isn't a staged musical, but some of the group had definite stage presence, and you couldn't help but watch.

And yet when it was all said and done, there was just something inside me that didn't feel right. There was something missing, and even as I sit here writing this review, I still can't quite put my finger on what it is. Maybe it was because the show is only fifty minutes long, and consequently felt one or two songs short: their set was missing a few more slower numbers. Or perhaps I had unfairly overhyped them in my own mind. Knowing that Out of the Blue have all but cornered their genre on the Fringe, it's easy to expect far too much.

So my tip to anyone who is not already a massive fan: try to forget that they are a Fringe institution, and see it simply as an antidote the saturated musical theatre scene. Out of the Blue provide something different, by going back to basics. No story, no backing, no props. Just old-fashioned high-class singing.

And one more thing - all profits for their show go to charity, so you can feel good about yourself as well as the show.

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