C Plaza
5-30 August (not 20), 16:15


Looking like they’ve stepped off the set of a Merchant Ivory film, the dozen suited Oxford University undergraduates who comprise Out of the Blue make quite a sound. And, indeed, quite a sight: they jump and prance around to their close-harmony versions of songs by Cheryl Cole and Backstreet Boys like a bunch of posh musos at a rave.

There’s little to fault in the sound they make and in the standout pianissimo lullaby they make their strongest claim to Whiffenpoofs territory, whose background they most closely resemble. Elsewhere their policy of matching class vocals with cheap pop has diminishing returns, and the effect of cheapening their talents rather than poshing up the largely trivial source material. A sprinkling of more classical material, or even just grown-up pop, might have given more depth to their set.

But their talent is undeniable, and judging from the CDs on sale and the size of the delirious audience, there seems little chance this lot will be going into the red any time soon.

Benet Catty