By 8pm on Friday night, a crowd had formed at the Bello Bar eagerly anticipating the latest sold-out event organised by the Trinitones, Trinity’s illustrious all-male acappella group. The event was billed as “The Clash of the Tones” – a battle between Trinity College Melbourne’s Trinity Tiger Tones and our own aforementioned Trinitones. In reality, it was really a showcase of songs from both groups. It was clear from the start that the groups set out to entertain, and entertain they did.
The intimate Bello Bar was packed with enthusiastic fans and family members, both Irish and Australian. The crowd were very vocal and enthusiastic, aided in no small part by a lengthy opportunity to avail of the bar before the show began. Audience participation was encouraged, and some audience members, this reporter included, got more than they bargained for when they were pulled on stage to join in a game of limbo during the Trinity Tiger Tones’ rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. The Trinity Tiger Tones actually said that the audience was the best of their tour, which included Oxford and St Andrews in the UK. Neil Dunne of the Trinitones was also keen to thank the crowd for their support and enthusiasm.
As well as acappella, we were treated to some cheesy amateur comedy in the form of several running jokes about Vegemite. The jokes were hardly sophisticated witticisms, but I defy anyone not to laugh at the sight of a tuxedo clad a cappella group serenading a tub of Vegemite with “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”. It was heartening to see the good feeling between the two groups, celebrating and recognising the work and talent of the others and the enthusiastic responses to each other’s performances.
Speaking to The University Times, Dunne was keen to emphasise how much the Trinitones enjoyed working with the Melbourne group, noting the similarities between the groups both musically and in their sense of humour. It was touching to see the two groups come together to sing “The Auld Triangle”. It was a departure from some of the proceeding up-tempo numbers but the powerful rendition of this, the final song, was a highlight of the night.
Both groups were well matched musically and they certainly put on a good show. We were treated to music as diverse as Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” to Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”. Beyonce, Drake and Dexy’s Midnight Runners would undoubtedly be amazed at the power of acappella on their most famous work. Both groups were fantastic, although the Trinitones could take lessons from the Tiger Tone’s dancing prowess. It was the first performance of the Trinitones in their new line-up, and the talent of the newcomers is clear. The new recruits easily slotted into the group.
The evening was truly uplifting. I was rarely without a smile on my face and, with the risk of sounding disgustingly sentimental, the room reverberated with music and laughter. The performance was a testament to the enduring popularity of acappella summed up by one audience member, who wanted to assure both groups that she found “every single one of them sexually attractive” after witnessing their performance – a glowing endorsement if ever there was one.
The Trinitones will host their Charity Christmas Concert on December 13th in the college chapel. A portion of ticket sales from Clash of the Tones were donated to the Trinitones’s Movember fundraising.