Students of Cardiff University make their first ever appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe in this criminally short a cappella gig. This was the logical next step for a group of performers who made it to the semi-finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella earlier this year, and this 35-minute concert proves why they got so far.
Starting on a high with a foot-tapping mash-up of two Rag’n’Bone Man songs, the DeciBelles present a highly enjoyable blend of modern anthems and personal favourites. Female empowerment is very much a theme running through their songs, which include homages to Aurora and Little Mix. Individually there are some stunning performers, each one putting everything into her vocals. But, as would be expected from an a cappella group, they are at their best when in harmony.
While it’s all fun to watch, there are two specific songs that really stand out in the set. The emotion they display during a beautiful rendition of ‘Quiet’ by MILCK is a stark reminder that these are young women coming of age in the #MeToo generation, while their mash-up of superstar Billie Eilish oozes of fearlessness and attitude.
If there’s one negative to take away from DeciBelles Debut!, it’s that it wasn’t given any attention. For these women to take their first show to the world’s biggest arts festival, and for it to be so good, is a huge achievement and the production deserved a bigger platform. They definitely make the most of what they do have, though, something they should be very proud of.