Top of the Scots was a welcome spring addition to the St Andrews A Cappella calendar. Tom Caruth, known for stand-up with the St Andrews Comedy society, hosted the concert, which featured all six of St Andrews’ A Cappella groups. Many of them performed their Scottish A Cappella Championship (SACC) sets which they had been working on for the last few months. The groups all performed with microphones, raising the quality of the sound considerably and making for an exciting concert. This concert was also the first audience-vote competition the society has hosted, with the winning group receiving a £300 grant towards their next A Cappella function. The A Cappella society teamed up with the Save the Children society, selling cakes and collecting donations, raising a total of over £100 for the charity!
First up were the Vocal Bandits, the university’s only non-auditioned group. Their quirky choreography, up-beat vibe, and bright smiles kicked off the evening wonderfully. Their rendition of ‘Some Nights’ definitely set the tone for the fun sets to come!
The Accidentals, fresh off their third-place victory at SACC, performed next; their set included a lovely rendition of ‘Loch Lomond’ and female empowerment hits like ‘Woman’ and ‘Wings’. Jemima Davies’ solo of ‘Loch Lomond’ opened the set beautifully, while Adeline Um’s powerful solo in ‘Wings’ showed off the group’s fierce quality.
The Hummingbirds rounded off the first half of the concert, putting their signature melodic stamp on songs like ‘Havana’ and ‘Chasing Pavements’. This all-female group always delivers smooth tunes and choreography, layering their songs nicely on top of each other. A special shout-out goes to the Hummy in the crutch who still performed the choreography beautifully!
The Alleycats delivered a high-energy and polished performance, including new hits like ‘God is a Woman’ and classic tunes like ‘Faith’. Andrew Mundy and Bea Delafaille delivered outstanding performances in this seamless set (arranged expertly by Jamie Rees), with Mundy’s performance of ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ being the clear highlight of the night.
The Other Guys, the university’s only all-male A Cappella group, came out in their usual sharp-looking suits. Davis Roper’s beautiful and heartfelt opening solo of ‘Jealous’ was the highlight of their set; the group hit a nice balance between Roper’s ballad and the more up-beat numbers like ‘Better Now’ and ‘Break Your Heart’.
The final group, the Bells, delivered their recognizable choral harmonies with songs including ‘I Need a Forest Fire’. As usual, their harmonies were beautifully layered and performed, with each of the soloists expertly bringing out their performance while still maintaining an angelic blend. Their first soloist Joséphine Lefroid, had a particularly powerful stage presence in her performance of ‘Bad Blood’.
All the groups put on exceptional performances and the night ended with the Accidentals winning the audience vote! Although there were some logistical hitches, Tom Caruth’s lighthearted hosting kept the ball rolling during the intervals.
The Top of the Scots concert was a resounding success, and we look forward to it becoming a staple of the St Andrews A Cappella scene!
Photography by Samantha Ciardi.