March 08, 2011
Nothing lights up a stationary cupboard like an all female a cappella group; teetering into the Sternberg Clarke offices like three little Betty Drapers, the Frockette's certainly looked the part - even amongst the ring binders and, boxes and stationary in the downstairs office. The specially made matching outfits, the sickly sweet waft of hairspray that held up the authentically sculpted curls in their hair, even their hand gestures seemed like they were from another era. Even if they can't sing, we thought, we could just make them mime to a backing track. Or maybe it was just me.
The recent explosion in vocal harmony groups in the UK means that if you're hoping to get in with an entertainment agency like Sternberg Clarke, you're going to need to go the extra mile in the when it comes to the 'look'. That means no turning up in your sweats and a baseball cap isn't going to cut it.
The Frockettes seem to understand they're in a competitive market - so when they launch into Keep Young and Beautiful they make sure to stay in character; synchronised bobs and dips, playfully scolding finger wags and coquettish frowns add that little something extra to an already impressive performance. It's all in the detail with this sort of thing. Performing their own intricate arrangements of 30s - 60's classics - the Frockettes conjure up that curious feeling of being nostalgic for a time you weren't actually around for... and neither were they, come to think of it - if they were they're looking good for it.
We can imagine the Frockettes working in a variety of settings and events - ideally suited to being background music or an attention grabbing cabaret show, they'd be especially fitting when booked for themed parties or as entertainment at retro weddings - something we've been seeing a lot lately. Another plus point is the minimal set up involved, no instruments and if you really want to keep it simple; just one speaker and one PA (that appeals to the client and entertainment bookers like us.)
No doubt we'll see another spectacular a capella group in the next couple of weeks and I'll be running out of ways to invoke the feel of the era without showing that bit from Back To The Future, but for now we're just enjoying the revival of early 20th Century vocal harmony groups.
Have a listen to a sound clip of the girls singing Write Myself a Letter