14 May 2013

with thanks to Josephine Crabb 

photo by Malcolm Stork



A musical feast was served to the audience as prize winning a cappella group The Royal Harmonics swung into action with a stirring performance of songs across the decades.


This musical banquet was all about attention to detail. Under the direction of John Palmer the group of up to 50 guys nattily attired in satin jackets channelling the band leaders of the 30s and 40s took us on what they describe as a whistle stop tour of popular song ranging from early English folk, and gospel, songs from the jazz age, songs from the shows, and modern pop classics.


From the outset the group sought to involve the audience with the different styles of singing. The eclectic ‘starter’ included ‘Blue Skies’, ‘On A Clear Day’ and ‘California Dreaming’.


This was punctuated by a ‘sorbet’ with Bob Walker one of the quartet who wrote ‘Scarborough Fair’ demonstrating with Steve, Matt and Tony the four voice parts (lead, bass, baritone and tenor) close harmony a cappella style     


The ‘main’ brought John Denver’s ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ and Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’.


Some soulful conducting gave poignancy to the second set ‘love journey’ which charted the ‘never runs smoothly’ course of love.


An effervescent rendering of ‘Put Your Arms Around me, Honey’ with perfectly synchronised miming of the actions to the lyrics gave way to more somber aspects of love with ‘Witchcraft’ and ‘How Deep Is Your Love’.  


The ‘dessert’ was provided by ‘Dance the Night Away’ and showcased the acting talents of the group as they sold this number to the audience and each other with every phrase.            


An encore was demanded, and to the mellow strains of the Irish Prayer ‘May the road rise to greet you’ the evening ended on a perfect note of mutual appreciation between performers and audience.    



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