Ocho Concert – Review

 Ocho, St Peter’s Church, Stapenhill.

Ocho is the Spanish for eight, which is handy as the vocal group Ocho consists of eight members. I’m pretty certain they knew this when they chose the name.

The group, who were successful at the Burton Vocal Festival, performed ‘in concert’ at St Peter’s Church, in Stapenhill, to raise funds for the Rainbows Hospice which is the children’s hospice for the East Midlands where children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions can go for specialist respite stays, symptom management, palliative and end-of-life care.

On a warm July night the audience were treated to some wonderful acappella singing by this very talented group.

From the opening Rocka My Soul to Lennon and McCartney’s Goodnight their voices soared and swooped through the church as they took us on a musical journey that presented songs as diverse as Rachmaninov’s Bogoroditsye Dyevo through Quincy Jones and Billy Joel to Cole Porter and Queen.

The singers, Soeli Bonham and Tilley Bancroft, sopranos, Hannah Gardner and Rachel Cook, altos, Huw Lloyd and Stuart Hannibal, tenors, and Adrian Juffs and Derek Gardner, bass, looked as delighted to be there as the audience with a lot of interaction between the songs that kept us smiling.

Practically every song was a highlight with the appreciative audience bringing the group back for an encore. Personal favourite was, in the modern parlance, a mash-up of Lennon and McCartney’s Blackbird and I Will, just sublime. There was a great reception for Bohemian Rhapsody and the closer of the first half Quincy Jones’ Soul Bossa Nova, yes an instrumental, was thrilling.

There were a lot of very knowledgeable musicians and singers in the audience who thought that they did a brilliant job of it.

A light-hearted ‘Battle of the Sexes’ in the second half saw the gents triumph with Still of the Night over the ladies much more complicated Java Jive – a fair result I feel.

All in all a very entertaining evening and a very pleasant way to support charity.

To find out more about Rainbows Hospice go to: http://www.rainbows.co.uk/

Further information about Ocho can be found at:

http://www.ochosingers.com/

Bill Pritchard.

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