Music Review: THE SONS OF PITCHES: LIVE! – The Lowry, Salford

THE SONS OF PITCHES explore the highly entertaining world of television through their own inimitable style

Following the success of their 2016 tour, THE SONS OF PITCHES return to Salford’s The Lowry for their biggest UK tour yet named the “SOPTV Show”.

Affectionately known as The Sons’, THE SONS OF PITCHES are a six-member a cappella group, comprising of three lead vocalists, one bass vocalist, one percussion vocalist and one soprano vocalist. The Midlands-based sextet first rose to fame in 2015 after winning the BBC 2 TV talent competition THE NAKED CHOIR and since then, have toured extensively across the UK and Europe, performing to over twenty thousand people including two sell-out tours over three months.

The 2017 tour sees the group explore the highly entertaining world of television through The Sons’ own inimitable style and vocal delivery. Bounding onto stage in sharp coloured suits, the two hour show opens with an impressive vocal interpretation of Fleetwood Mac’s THE CHAIN (also known as the theme tune for FORMULA 1), followed by energetic mash-up of popular TV themes including DR WHO, EASTENDERS, STRICTLY COME DANCING, MATCH OF THE DAY, TOP GEAR, UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE, X FACTOR and BIG BROTHER.

The Sons’ have clearly put a lot of thought into their first themed show, weaving sketches about panel and quiz shows with video snippets of classic TV adverts. Their fast-paced and innovative take on BLIND DATE (named Blind Mate) stands out as one of the highlights with the boys’ answering their date related questions in song. Even the new original material from their new album DON’T FRET is cleverly woven into the narrative as new entries in “Top of the SOPs”.

While, for the most part, the energy of the show is kept high, a couple of sections fall a little flat. A performance of THE RAINS OF CASTAMERE, a song from GAME OF THRONES, is oddly placed and unlikely to recognised by anyone who isn’t a super fan of the show. A section called ‘The Great British Beat Off’, while very clever, also goes on for far too long and begins to lose momentum.

That said, there is plenty to like about the 2017 tour and where The Sons’ truly excel is in their ability to work the room, particularly when it comes to their trademark improvisation which is given new spin in form of TV quiz show ‘Count Up’ (based on COUNTDOWN). Here, a member of audience is invited up on stage to play the game and create the word in which the group will then improvise a song. The result at The Lowry was a Gangsta Rap number about Boohemias and Country & Western/Musicals mash-up about an Engraver, both of which were incredibly funny and entertaining.

If you’re a fan of a cappella, you’re sure to enjoy THE SONS OF PITCHES. Their deft rhythmic interplay and technical vocal talent is second to none and their showmanship is sure to keep you entertained.

4 out of 5 stars

THE SONS OF PITCHES: LIVE! tours nationally until 29 July 2017