This four-piece a capella vocal group can handle anything
I’ve been lucky enough to see The Idea of North three times in the last six weeks. First was their collaborative concert with Sydney Chamber Choir, Going Bjork, a Scandinavian musical journey, then a private performance at a music teachers’ conference and finally at The Basement. Three very different situations: a formal concert, an after-dinner performance and a jazz club gig. This four-piece a capella vocal group can handle anything.
Original works and arrangements
The Basement concert was a mixture of some of the Scandinavian songs, some of TION’s most-loved arrangements, audience participation segments and some cute comedy numbers. Regular alto Naomi Crellin is on leave following the birth of her son Levi, so after (quite literally) waiting in the wings at the Going Bjork concert, her replacement Joy Hague got her chance to perform these songs with the group and fitted in like a hand in a glove.
Some of the highlights were arrangements of songs by The Real Group, a five-piece a capella group from Sweden. I’ve not been able to stop singing Bumble Bee all week. There were also some originals by bass Andrew Piper, who ingeniously provides TION’s fifth layer of sound with his vocal percussion. Their arrangement of Sting’s Fragile transcends the original in its expressiveness.
The second half began with a superhero movie quiz with words from Star Wars, originally performed by Moosebutter from Canada – you might like to check out the original here and see how many John Williams themes you recognise!
The party atmosphere took over with raffles, guest conductors and the revelation that TION now have their very own cover group. There was some simply gorgeous singing, notably from soprano Sally Cameron in the Real Group’s Butterfly (what is it with these people and insects?)
The concert started and finished with songs by Stevie Wonder and for a finale, tenor Nick Begbie taught the audience to sing the harmonies for TION’s very first arrangement Isn’t She Lovely? We did that at the teachers’ conference too, but the Basement audience did five parts instead of just four. Jazz guys are always better at harmony.
This was a fantastic concert in a great venue.