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A capella has exploded into popular culture in the last few years, featured in such break out success stories as Glee and Pitch Perfect. But Gobsmacked! is to Glee what an industrial mixing desk is to DJ mode on a low-quality keyboard.
Featuring seven vocalists from around the world, Gobsmacked! isn’t just a singing group. They’re beatboxers, mash-up artists, sound technicians, instrumentalists, dancers, actors, a choir, opera, hip-hop, pop, rock, jazz and everything in between.
Their current show is featured as part of the Udderbelly Festival on London’s Southbank. The group perform mash-ups of songs, from Duffy to Queen, whilst also performing all harmonies, sound effects and instrumental parts using only their vocals.
Though every single member is immensely talented (having been chosen from over 700 applications), two singers stand out as the stars of the show. Joanne Evans is originally from Enfield and has trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has performed with the English National Opera and her powerful voice and immense range brings an exciting new level to her vocal performance. Her rendition of Sia’s ‘Bulletproof’ was particularly spine-tingling.
But the main feature has to be Patrick Hirst, better known as beatboxer Ball-Zee. His sound effects have to be seen to be believed: hilarious, jaw-dropping, perfectly timed. It’s hard to believe that every single noise in the show is made by the human voice.
Their song choices run from Outkast to The Beatles, by way of Bruno Mars, Prince, The Killers, James Brown, Black Eyed Peas, Mumford & Sons, Toploader and countless others.
Gobsmacked! runs at the Udderbelly Festival until Sunday 17 July. Catch it whilst you can!