Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Top of the Bops

An energetic hour of hit pop song arrangements by four incredible singers.

An energetic hour of hit pop song arrangements by four incredible singers.

Presented by: VocaLab
Reviewed: 21 February, 2023

What happens when four ridiculously talented female singers get together to jam to their favourite bops? You get an hour of sweet harmonies, showy riffs, and a celebration of great songs and great voices. This is what Top of the Bops promises.

Top of the Bops is driven by vocal powerhouses Jessica Bigg, Elle Nichelle, Eliza Dickson and Rachel Coppen. Individually they are masters of their craft, but together they blend in rich contemporary harmonies, adding extra flavours to this musical feast. Their blend and synchronisation is beautiful to hear. The vocalists, backed by live musicians Emile Ryjoch (alto saxophone), Tyler Venter (electric guitar) and Vinnie Miranda (guitar) and additional pre-recorded instruments by Alex Flood, Jack Strempel and Dylan Paul, bring incredible energy and plenty of sequins to their performance. They clearly love their craft so much, and their joy radiates from the stage.

In addition to their natural performance skills, there were moments of synchronised choreography. At times this was incredibly effective, with a simple move to draw the eye or change the focus, but a few times one or more of the singers would forget a move or do it in the wrong direction. While some tightening of the choreography would be beneficial, it’s easy to acknowledge that these women are singers first, not dancers, and the other elements more than make up for this.

However, what really made this show special was the arrangements. I’m a real sucker for a clever mashup, and these arrangements were continuously weaving together motifs from song after song, merging from one to another or overlapping melodies to the point where you forgot that these songs didn’t originally belong together. From Aretha to Adele, Madonna to Macklemore, the hits came thick and fast, to the point where I lost track of how many songs we heard fragments of.

Top of the Bops is a banger of a show, with high energy and fabulous musicality. You’ll be grooving in your seats, because the only thing this show needs now is a dance floor.

Reviewed by Kristin Stefanoff

Venue: The Kingfisher at Gluttony
Season: 17 – 26 February, 2023
Duration: 55min
Tickets: $25 – $38

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