In a night full of passion, intricacy, humour, style, sophistication and most of all, music, it was debutants Vive that took this year’s Voice Festival, triumphing over the likes of The Sons of Pitches, The Oxford Alternotives and last year’s champions All the King’s Men in the final at the City of London School for Girls.
With the group from Guildhall College of Music and Drama only reaching the final via a Wildcard after winning the Ward Swingle Award for Originality at the London Regional in the same venue last week, they put together a set never before seen in recent Voice Festival memory, with breaks in between each song to outro and intro the songs either side – something most other groups rarely have time for. The group were clearly the best musicality and indeed in terms of originality – their set contained two songs penned by group members themselves – but the audience favourite appeared to be The Sons of Pitches, who toyed with the audience deliciously throughout their set, and more than deserved their awards for ‘Outstanding Vocal Percussion’ and ‘Outstanding Choreography/Stagecraft’, the latter of which they picked up at last year’s final. Special mention must also go to Jessie Reeves of The Oxford Alternotives, who took the audience on a real emotional journey through her solo of Regina Spektor’s Samson. Surprisingly, reigning champions All the King’s Men left empty handed, as did Glaswegian group Choral Stimulation and Exeter based Semi-Toned, but these were by no means poor performances – each and every group could have made a point for why they were deserved winners on the night; it was merely a case of which group was the most outstanding.
So Vive it was that claimed the title ahead of the rest. What next for the group from Guildhall?
Outstanding Musicality: Vive
Outstanding Choreography/Stagecraft: Joe Bellum and Joe Hinds of The Sons of Pitches
Outstanding Arrangements: Sam Robson of Vive
Outstanding Vocal Percussion: Jack Blume of The Sons of Pitches
Outstanding Soloist: Jessie Reeves of The Oxford Alternotives for Samson
A full review of last night’s show will be available shortly.