Happy birthday to The Other Guys…

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Our very own, very St Andrean a capella group, The Other Guys have just turned 10, and they threw a party to celebrate it! Past and present members of the formation came together this Saturday in the Byre Theatre to commemorate 10 years of fine music. The place was packed and we fell in love.

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It was a typical Other Guys night, yet it was also something special. Typical because of the combination of great tunes and “suspect” dance moves (as they themselves keep referring to it…), because of the good humour, ingenious lyrics, irony and self-irony.  It was special because it really was a reunion. Former members from all over the globe travelled to St Andrews to join the current Other Guys and sing in unison. For them, this was a chance for time travel. For us, it meant that besides the usual songs we are more or less used to (St Andrews Girls, Loch Lomond etc. ) we also got to listen to some of the older melodies (and voices), straight from the beginnings of The Other Guys.

The performance was scheduled to start at 10 pm and a few minutes before that the foyer/bar area of the Byre was so full that you could hardly breathe. People were all around the stage, on the stairs, at the entrance and also upstairs. While a few people got to secure themselves a seating place in the gallery, the rest of us had to stand. I personally felt that this only added to the excitement and to the creation of a very special atmosphere, but some members of the audience thought the performance would have been better suited to a space where everyone could sit and see the guys.

At 10, the members of the group appeared wearing all suits, strolled casually down the stairs and started to sing. We heard old and new songs, cheeky songs and heart-wrenchingly sweet songs, an adorable mix of traditional Scottish melodies, the latest musical hits or the Gaudeamus, for that matter… Some of them were sung by the former members, some by the new generation and some by all of the guys, together. Since it was a reunion, we also got to hear a few stories, like the one about that drunken night the a capella guys went: “Should we do this? Yes, we should do this!” The 10 years that have passed since that night certainly represent cause for celebration. The Other Guys are not only loved by St Andrews students – they won the Scottish A Capella Championship, they have made several recordings, donated to charity, gone on a US tour… And of course there’s the Royal Romance, the music video for Kate and Will’s wedding that brought The Other Guys international press coverage and over 860,000 views on YouTube.

“I loved the way that they made past and present come together. And the singing… Amazing! My favourite act was St Andrean Skies, but I really liked all of the songs” – one member of the audience told The Saint. Indeed, the guys’ anniversary night was everything they are: sometimes witty and clever, sometimes lyrical and beautiful. Absolutely crazy, undeniably St Andrean and sometimes giving you the chills. They promised us a reunion like no other. And that’s exactly what we got. So…happy birthday, guys! Our birthday wish for you: just keep singing, just keep singing…

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Photos: Samantha Marcus

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