Gig Review: The Vocal Orchestra – E4 Udderbelly Festival, Southbank London

The Vocal Orchestra

E4 Udderbelly Festival
Southbank London

Monday 16 April: The iconic upside-down purple cow makes the venue for the headlining act for the E4 Udderbelly Festival; The Vocal Orchestra ‘combining jaw-dropping human beatboxing, glorious vocal harmonies and floor wobbling basslines’. Written and created by the talented and internationally acclaimed Shlomo, The Vocal Orchestra use seven microphones, seven mouths and no instruments. 

With a packed audience; ages ranging from young children to adults, the show begins with smoke filling the venue, and eventually seven people come on to the stage and start to perform. What happens next can only be describe as unbelievable. The start of the show, showcases the skills that Claudia Georgette, Billy Boothroyd, Robin Bailey, Harriet Syndercombe Court, Johannah Jolson, Grace Savage and Ross Green possess. Words cannot describe how amazing their skills actually are. 

The show included different genres of music from hip hop to ballads to a bit of music from 1723; which goes to show the diversity of the talent on show. They even manage to portray a martial arts scene. In part of the show you are taken on a ‘time machine’ to a different decade and treated to a medley of songs from that time, we were taken to the 80’s, 60’s and 90’s. At times I couldn’t believe there was no backing track, the songs are so close to the originals, it is incredible that every sound you hear is made from seven people and their mouths. The 90’s decade made me feel I was in a club and not watching a show. 

The last part of the show was a beautiful combination of ‘Perfect Day’- Lou Reed and ‘Hallelujah’- Leonard Cohen, both performances were stunning and the audience were in awe. The encore had several upbeat songs, getting the audience up on the feet clapping and dancing, I didn’t want the show to end, could have watched them for a lot longer. 

All in all, the hour long performance was faultless, stunning, incredible and amazing. Without question The Vocal Orchestra are an act everyone should see at least once. You’ll leave wishing you could beatbox. I know I do. 

Review by Christina Benneworth

Listings Information 

E4 Udderbelly Festival 
Southbank Centre 
Jubilee Gardens 
Off Belvedere Road 
SE1 8XX 

Shows: 17th April – 27th May 

Ticket Prices: £17.50 - £19.50