Audition Round Up: The Penny Arcade Quartet and Harps for Hangovers

November 15, 2012

Last week’s audition post - with its Saxophone Quartets and Flamenco versions of Queen songs – was a great showcase of the exciting new acts that make working at London’s leading Entertainment supplier so gosh darn exciting. But if you thought we’d take a week off from looking for new and different acts to perform at corporate events then you my dear friend, are a damned fool.

 First up, it’s that time of year again, when grown men gather in groups of four to sing festive songs in glorious four-part harmonies (preferably with the biggest guy taking the high part because, y’know). And while The Penny Arcade Quartet do plenty more than ‘Tis the relevant Season, Christmas is a special time for the guys as it was on Christmas Eve that they were spotted by record company executives whilst singing in their local pub – a sighting that lead to the guys dropping out of their University studies to pursue music.

It’s a decision that we’re glad they came to, else they’d all have their noses pressed into books on Friday afternoon rather than pressed against the windows of Sternberg Clarke as they waited for someone to answer the buzzer. The guys popped in to perform a mix of tunes, both Christmas and not, showcasing their crystal clear voices and swooping vocal harmonies ranging from Barbershop to the Beatles. With enough repertoire to perform as either a Christmas Act or a straight up vocal harmony group, the Penny Arcade Quartet could find themselves very busy in the near future.

With Iona Thomas winning the Next Big Thing at last year’s Confex and subsequently giving me loads of opportunities to make harp puns (like “harping on”, “doing things harp-heartedly” etc) there’s never been a better time to be a harpist in the events industry or equally, a harp and vocal duo which is what Harps for Hangovers are. Having made a name for themselves playing at some of the UK’s biggest festivals, the pair are bringing their quirky covers and unique sound to corporate events and weddings where they’re sure to be a hit.

While it’s always nice to hear anything other than Sex On Fire in any audition, oddball choices like the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army and The Pixies’ Where Is My Mind are even more surprising when performed with hushed vocals and gently plucked 29-string harp. The duo have already found a niche performing at weddings and it’s clear why; their rock and indie flavoured repertoire lets couples stamp a bit of their personality on ceremony music. But they could just as easily make a splash in corporate events too offering a playful twist on the familiar background harp.

For more information on booking any of these acts for upcoming corporate events, head over to our contact page and get in touch.  

By Garrreth Owen