By Isabella Fraser
A definite crowd pleaser, Gobsmacked! fuses a cappella and beatboxing seamlessly in a show that packs a vocal punch. The seven-strong team of powerful singers and beatboxers from all over the world perform a range of well known songs, both current and old school, but rather than purely harmonizing, the creative use of beatboxing brings a whole new dimension to the music being performed. The sounds produced are so slick and perfectly executed that it is easy to forget there are no keyboards or musical instruments making any of the sounds in the show – it is produced purely through the use of vocal skill, with some live looping thrown in.
Ball-Zee, a 3 x UK champion beatboxer, is undoubtedly the star of the show – the section of the show where he tunes up a range of sounds is a master class in the amazing capacity of the human voice to mimic and produce sounds. He makes it easy to identify what he is doing through his mimes and sounds, demonstrating a musicality, rhythm and humour that the audience embraces.
The strength in the singers is also impressive as they each have the opportunity to take the lead in songs that showcase their individual styles. While the way the music is passed from one singer to another to take the lead borders on corny, the energy in which the singers take on the songs to make them their own overcomes this. Everyone on stage looks like they are having fun and this is reflected back by the audience response.
A slight niggle is that the choreography in the movement routines does not match the originality of the merging of sounds but this is a small point in what is an entertaining and hugely enjoyable show. Judging by the grins of the audience as they left the venue, this is a show that delivers what it says.
Gobsmacked! runs until 29 August (not 16) at Underbelly, George Square @ 17:00. Running time is approximately 1 hour. Suitable for all ages.