MICHAEL DRAKE Norwich Cathedral


Norwich Cathedral

Life is unfair of course, otherwise why are some mathematicians also gifted musicians or this vocal quartet so good looking?

The original X Factor success story have only been around for a couple of years but have already had a number one hit album and sell out tours and a packed cathedral audience eagerly awaited them and it seems from the reception from their devoted followers they were satisfied.

But frankly the venue was quite the wrong place for their talents (though some of this view maybe due to my allocated position on the back row) and certainly not all their songs were suitable for a quartet - for instance, Nesun Dorma. Add to that, poor amplification and even worse balancing and much of last evening's performance was a let down after the opening Amazing Grace from the West End and Once in Royal David's City with a confident first verse by Becky Greenfield from Norwich School Choir.

In fact the choir was more suited to the building and with them, the boys' Silent Night was a highlight together with a more emotional arrangement of Sinatra's My Way.

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Neither did the organ accompaniment for G4 work and I would have liked more a capella singing. I cannot comment on rising soprano Natasha Marsh's supporting contribution because she had finished before I arrived for an 8pm start. In short (literally, for the whole lasted under an hour) it was not good value for money.

Or maybe I missed the point for there was a standing ovation.