Monday morning was an early start for us, made easier by a glimpse of home in the form of the inimitable Megabus. We caught this service’s New York-Boston route at 9AM, and spent the next four hours discussing all manner of topics, including “Is blood vegetarian?”, “How does the toilet work on a bus?”, and “Don’t forget, don’t forget, the Mexican spices”. Much to the appreciation of our fellow passengers we eventually arrived in Boston’s coach station, and made our way via their wonderful subway system to Northeastern University, home of our lovely host group, the UniSons.
Jake, one of the group’s tenors, came to pick us up from the station and showed us around the awesome Northeastern University campus, which dwarfs Exeter’s campus many times over. We then dropped our baggage off at various UniSons’ members’ houses, before heading back to campus and having a lovely meal all together with our new American friends hooray!
Dinner on campus
UniSons rocking ‘Take Me To Church’
In the evening, we performed at an informal gathering outside, alongside the UniSons and the Downbeats, another Northeastern group. Both groups were fantastically energetic and vibrant, with some real wow moments embedded in their sets. Dispersed among the audience were some Exeter alumni who now lived in Boston, as well as Scotty’s parents who had flown out that very morning, and any students who happened to be passing by. It was a lovely first gig to start our tour off in style!
Downbeats in ‘Paradise’
After this, we headed back to the house of Alex, the UniSons’ beatboxer, and had a party like real Americans! Lots of new friends were made, and lots of new drinking games were learnt (with Pepsi for those of us under 21 of course).
Tomorrow we will be exploring the historic city of Boston, and trying to recover from our hangovers. Peace out!
On a sleepy Sunday morning, 12 men across a sunny Birmingham awoke with spirits high and spirit levels higher, as a heavy night of celebrating had followed an amazing win at the Voice Festival University Final the previous night. It must be said that the competition at the VFUK final and over the whole weekend was outstanding and it was an honour to perform with such incredible groups. Everyone was so friendly and supportive of every other group and a special shout out goes to our girls over at Sweet Nothings for screaming so loud during our set. Each of the members made their way to Birmingham Coach station, where we boarded our tour bus and waved farewell to one of our beloved alumni, Joe Lane. He has always been a massive support to the group at competitions, giving us valuable comments in our sound checks on performance days.
The bus journey involved some exciting discussions about future business plans for the group including recording a single, producing a high quality music video and purchasing a Semi-Toned barge called “Cash Ain’t a Problem I Know Where It Goes (Ah Doo)”. The plan clearly being to cut on commuting costs for gigs around the UK. Watch this space…
After a quick snack and check-in at Heathrow the group divided into two to take their separate flights. Team 1 had a light jog through terminal 2 to make it to the gate on time while Team B sat back and relaxed before their later flight. The highlight of the flight had to be some spectacular views of the oceanic ice sheets off the Canadian Coast and some tantalising views of Manhattan as we descended to land.
Our first sighting of the big apple.
A short train brought us into the city where Tommy Hamer took control as he revealed that his spirit animal is actually New York. Our first view of the city from the ground was summarised in inspiring quotes such as “It’s big, innit” and “I wish I was Spider-man now.” Some excessively large pizza was a nice way to end the long day of travelling and the two teams were reunited at the hostel before immediately heading to bed for a well earned rest.
Tomorrow we head off to Boston to meet up with the first of our American groups and to perform in our first tour concert!
We’re delighted to announce that we’ve been invited by The Voice Festival UK to the Semi-Finals of their National University Competition!
Even better, our fantastic female friends the Sweet Nothings have nabbed a spot in the Semi-Finals too, as have the awesome Aquapella Bath Uni and the brilliant The Bristol Suspensions, so massive congratulations to them and all the groups who made it through! Looks like the South-West is the new home of UK A Cappella!
Check out the rest of the line-up for the event below
Semi-Toned proudly presents their debut self-titled EP, available NOW for download here!: https://loudr.fm/release/semi-toned/mbKuC
Our album launch is also tonight, so get yourself down to the Firehouse at 11pm where we’ll be performing and dishing out physical copies!
Here’s the very first video from our Edinburgh Fringe set – No Church in the Wild featuring the Game of Thrones theme. Actor Daniel Portman who plays Podrick Payne in the popular HBO TV series said of our cover – ‘well in!’
If its good enough for Podrick, it’s good enough for you. Please like and share you wonderful people!
The boys fought off fierce competition from the most talented A Cappella groups in the South West to advance to the National Finals of the Voice Festival to be held on the 15th March in London. Check out the video of their performance.