A masterclass in a cappella from the UK’s premiere vocal group.

Since The Sons of Pitches shot to fame in 2015 when they won Gareth Malone’s The Naked Choir, they have become the kings of harmony, boasting three headline tours, over three million YouTube hits, and starring as the house band on Sky1's Sing: Ultimate A Cappella. The Midlands group made up of Joe Novelli, Joe Hinds, Jamie Hughes, Joe Belham, Josh Mallett and Midé Naike, are currently on a 20-date tour ending on 8th November in Shrewsbury. We went along to the London show to check them out. As the tour title suggests the aim is to perform ‘100 Number One Hits’ in a mere 2 hours. A large clock set at the back of the stage keeps track and every so often they check in with their progress while someone moves the clock hand, no high tech system needed here! Taking us through ABBA Medleys, ‘School Disco’ mashups, and hits from Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran, and The Beatles, it’s a sing-along extravaganza. Guest Jaz Ellington from The Voice joins the group on stage for a beautiful rendition of ‘Stand by Me’, just before they embark on a vocal battle of Beyoncé vs Rihanna. It’s a tough one to decide the winner! The sextet possesses not only stunning harmonies but boundless comedic value. At a couple of moments during the show, they ask the audience for ideas for improvisations. A lady’s observations of her Auckland hometown provide the first offering, and a text about tea cakes from the bread bin the second. These off the bat arrangements have the audience in stitches and only goes to prove how talented these guys are. Racking up the tracks and taking the total up to 98, what better an encore than the 80s hit 99 Red Balloons. Of course, this wouldn’t be complete without physical red balloons falling from the ceiling, with the crowd enthusiastically jumping to catch them. Closing the show on the magic 100, it’s fair to say The Sons of Pitches have injected the rocket fuel to “give a cappella a kick up the backside”.