A capella singing groups have become as synonymous with the Edinburgh Fringe as student review shows and dramatic monologues. And if you're planning on seeing one this year, I can heartily recommend Voices.
Over the years one has come to expect a capella shows to involve a plethora of pop songs re-arranged for a handful of vocalists, one of whom will beatbox and another of whom will go 'bom bom bom' a lot. This group has a beatboxer, but that's where the comparisons end.
You won't hear “Stand by Me” or “Walking in Memphis” here, and if you're looking for that sort of thing you should probably see The Magnets. Rather, what Voices serves up is a range of world music, seemingly spanning at least five continents, performed by an equally diverse group of performers.
Led by American vocalist and composer Philip Hamilton, we hear mash-ups of everything from African gospel to Balinese monkey-chant, as well as virtuoso turns from a superb beatboxer and a giant, booming bassist, among others.
If I have a criticism it's the lack of context given to the music, especially as many of the pieces undoubtedly have fascinating stories behind them. But nevertheless it's a very pleasant way to wile away an hour or so, and certainly makes a change from the usual a capella fare.