I went to Portsmouth Guildhall unsure what to expect from Gareth Malone and his Voices choir. What I got was a rich and varied programme - everything from The Beatles and Slade to serious choral works.
Malone was his usual likeable self, chatting away amiably to the audience, and keeping the evening flowing. His Voices choir (aged between 18 and 27) had superb voices and jumped from genre to genre with ease and confidence.
I particularly enjoyed the more choral pieces, such as Eric Whitacre’s Seal Lullaby, and James MacMillan’s beautiful Oh Radiant Dawn. Malone’s arrangement of Bon Iver’s Calgary was amazing, and beautifully performed by his choir.
They also gave us a moving version of Dire Straits Brothers in Arms – a song I’ve listened to many times and never fully appreciated how sad it actually is, then followed this with a glorious version of Toto’s Africa.
The beatboxing was good too, and Voices performance of Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk had the whole audience on their feet.
Malone’s ambition seems to be to get everyone singing, and he certainly achieved it with this audience, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy being part of his choir.