Delicious Soundbites at Sherwell United Church in Plymouth (review)

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It was American author, Mark Twain, who first alluded to the concept of a sound bite – a minimum of sound to a maximum of sense – way before the phrase first became a media buzz word in the 1980s.

Janet Ayers, Kelly Briant, Fiona Moore and Sandra Thibault, as Delicious Soundbites, relied solely on their voices, with a bare minimum of movement, body sounds and a smidgen of percussion.

But they certainly achieved a far bigger effect in performance, and thankfully without any need for amplification.

Of course, such rarefied singing in a close-harmony format, can pall after a time, but Delicious Soundbites had ensured their programme was sufficiently varied to sustain an hour’s music-making, and delicate enough to digest around the middle of the day.

Opening with a good use of spatial effects, the vocalists thoroughly entertained their listeners, mixing some familiar standards and ballads with original material by their leader, Fiona Moore, who also did a nice job of standing in for a double bass, affording a little extra swing at one point.

The singers clearly enjoyed what they were doing, and the almost impromptu nature of their performance ideally suited the material and its presentation – and if there was the occasional harmonic glitch, this never spoilt the overall effect.

It just seemed a pity there weren’t more present to savour this light postmeridian repast.


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