Following the festivities of Monday’s annual lighting of the Christmas tree, Trinity Belles continued the spreading of college Christmas spirit with their sold-out performance of Sleigh Belles Sing in the Grand Social on Tuesday night. As Trinity’s only all-female acappella group, the Belles promised an intermingling of old classics, seasonal favourites, and new hits; a perfect combination for anyone seeking an enjoyable recess from the library.
The Grand Social proved ideal for such an intimate event; small enough to maintain an exciting atmosphere and yet big enough to allow for the fans the Belles have amassed since their founding in 2013. The event sold out quickly as those with tickets filtered inside and a lucky few purchased theirs at the door
Traversing genres with ease, the fifteen Belles on stage played off of one another well, creating the sense that not only was their performance a team-effort, but that it was an effort each member truly enjoyed being a part of. Performing for a little over half an hour, the Belles brought to life many crowd favourites: from the opening rendition of Meghan Trainor’s ‘Dear Future Husband’; to a creative mash-up of Pitch Perfect’s ‘Cups’ and Mika’s ‘Happy Ending’; to the blending of eighties classics and unconventional takes on old Christmas reliables.
A notable crowd-pleaser was a Spice Girls medley, led by Áine Flanagan, Arrah Valenzona, Sara Mitchell García, Sarah Keane, and Orla Gormley. Sara and the Belles’ rendition of ‘Viva Forever’ deserves a special mention for bringing a surprisingly emotive note to an otherwise upbeat, vibrant line-up. The Belles fed off of their audience’s enjoyment and the energy of the group perhaps reached its strength in their performance of Trainor’s ‘No’. Expertly led by Áine Flanagan and Naoise Whearity, this a cappella twist on contemporary pop was spirited and animated, with each member on stage bringing their own energy to the dynamic.
For a reasonable €3 admission, the Belles were a treat to behold, smiling, singing, and happily engaging with their audience. Finishing up arguably too soon, a much desired encore came in the form of something they “just happened to also have prepared”: a memorable amalgam of ‘12 Days of Christmas’ and Toto’s ‘Africa’ – so seamless it created a sense that the unlikely pairing was, in actuality, wholly natural.
As a festive event, Sleigh Belles Sing sacrificed a repertoire of familiar Christmas carols in favour of a creative and eclectic presentation, light enough on the Christmas classics that any Scrooges in the audience should not have been too perturbed. The talent of the Belles is obvious, and like a puppy, not just for Christmas.