The Other Guys (University of St Andrews)

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The Other Guys
Origin St Andrews, Scotland
Genres A cappella
Years active 2004–present
Members Mark Gregory
Ted Haxby
Ryan Hubner
Spencer Huffman
Xander Johnson
Andrew Pattie
Lewis Phillips
Richard Phillips
Laurie Slavin
Dan Stephans
Tarleton Watkins III
Callum Woolley

The Other Guys (TOG) is an all-male a cappella ensemble from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. The group was founded in 2004 and has been one of the groups responsible for the rise of collegiate a cappella in Scotland.

The group are perhaps best known for their musical parody videos, most notably their YouTube hit "Royal Romance", a tribute to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton based upon Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance", and their follow-up video "St Andrews Girls", a cover of Katy Perry's "California Gurls", which was released in conjunction with a charity single raising money for Breast Cancer Care. As of 1 May 2014, the group's YouTube channel has over 1.4 million views, making them the most viewed university group in the UK.[1]

History[edit]

2004-08: Formation and Early Years[edit]

The group was founded in 2004 by a group of friends who wanted to bring the American tradition of collegiate a cappella to the university. In the spring of 2005, the newly founded group went on its first international tour to the United States singing in New York City for the University Glee Club of New York City and in Westport, Connecticut at the Java Jam - a concert of American Collegiate A Cappella Groups at Greens Farms Academy.[citation needed] After three years spent increasing their reputation in both St. Andrews and Scotland, they released their debut album, Indecent Exposure in May 2007, which included covers of tracks by Seal, Backstreet Boys and Chris DeBurgh.

In the winter of 2007, St Andrews hosted the quarter-finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCAs) for the first time. The Other Guys went on to win this regional round and progressed to the Western European Final in London.[citation needed]

On 12 May 2008, the group released their second studio album The Damage is Done, which included a mash-up of two Scouting For Girls tracks, "Elvis Ain't Dead" and "She's So Lovely", and a rewritten version of "Gangsta's Paradise" which was renamed "Golfer's Paradise", referring to the status of St. Andrews as the 'Home of Golf'. A rewritten version of the latter is also present on their fourth album, Barely Regal.

The Other Guys won the ICCA quarter-final again in 2008, where David Borowsky was awarded 'Outstanding Vocal Percussionist' at both the St Andrews quarter-final and the resulting Western European Final.[2]

2009-10: Well Sung[edit]

Following the formation of The Voice Festival UK (VF-UK) in 2009, The Other Guys proceeded to compete in one of the three semi-finals on 7 March 2009 in St. Andrews. Tenor David Borowsky won the award for 'Outstanding Solo' for the performance of "Desperado", and the group went through to the London final, where Borowsky went on to win the 'Outstanding Solo' award once again.[3]

On 1 May 2009, the group released their third studio album, entitled Well Sung. This incorporated for the first time a guest vocalist and several well-known hymns, including "Amazing Grace" and "Auld Lang Syne". The album was launched in a special performance at Younger Hall in St Andrews, and was well received throughout the university and by Rector Kevin Dunion.[4]

On 6 March 2010, the group entered the Voice Festival UK for the second time, where bass Iain Glen won the 'Outstanding Arrangement' for his arrangement of Sara Bareilles' "Gravity".[3]

2011: "Royal Romance" and Barely Regal[edit]

The Other Guys at the Voice Festival UK 2011 in Younger Hall, St Andrews

The following year, on 4 March 2011, the group entered the VFUK competition for the third time. Due to the rising popularity of university a cappella in the UK, there were five semi-finals and as such, the number of groups qualifying from each semi-final was reduced from two to one. The Other Guys won awards for 'Outstanding Musicality', 'Outstanding Arrangement' for their performance of "Royal Romance", and tenor Henry Synge was 'Highly Commended' for his solo on "Kiss From A Rose.[3]

Filming and recording on "Royal Romance" began in March 2011. The video was cut and edited at the beginning of April and was released onto YouTube on 11 April 2011, to celebrate the Royal Wedding and to 'put a smile on people's faces'.[5] Within a week, the video had earned recognition in the United Kingdom,[6] the United States,[7][8] Australia,[9] and India.[10] The group made their first TV appearance in a report on Five News on 14 April 2011 and later on STV News. The video was also featured on The Today Show in America as part of their 'Webtastic' section.[11] The group also received praise from Eric Whitacre, an eminent American composer and conductor, who described their video and sound as 'awesome', in a communication on Facebook. As of 1 May 2014, the video has amassed over 850,000 views.[12]

After the success of the video in St Andrews in particular, the group were invited by Louise Richardson, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the university, to perform at the Principal's Awards Dinner at Lower College Hall on Wednesday 20 April. Their first public performance post-video was in the Byre Theatre bar, where they performed a set of eleven songs, including "Royal Romance", some of which involved several former members of the group.

Promotional Teaser for the "Royal Romance" video

The group performed three times in St Salvator's Quadrangle in St Andrews on Friday 29 April 2011 as part of the celebrations of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.[13] Each time they performed "Royal Romance" along with other songs from their repertoire, including "Canned Heat" and "Kiss From A Rose", the other two songs from their set at the VF-UK Semi Final. They also appeared on ITV's morning show Daybreak.

After the success of "Royal Romance", the group embarked upon several charitable endeavours, both just as a group and as part of various charity fundraisers. The group have twice appeared at fundraisers for the Muir Maxwell Trust, firstly on 3 July at Fettes College, Edinburgh as part of their Mad Hatter's Tea Party, and the second time on 10 December at the Savoy Hotel.[14][15]

Recording for their fourth album, Barely Regal began on 27 June 2011 and was completed on 7 July. The album was released on 5 September, alongside an EP of their 2009 album, Well Sung, which featured six of the tracks from the original album. The group worked with American professional a cappella group Overboard, who did the mixing and editing, and music producers Diovoce, who mastered the album.[16] The group also announced that a 'significant proportion of any profits made' were to be donated to the scholarship at the University of St Andrews that was set up in dedication to William and Kate.[17][18] On 2 December 2011, the group announced that they had thus far been able to donate £500 to the scholarship.[19]

Following a performance at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Gala Dinner on 1 October 2011,[20] they were invited by professional golfer Colin Montgomerie to sing at a fundraiser for his own charity, Maggie's Cancer Care.[21]

2012: "St Andrews Girls", charity work and Christmas Number One campaign[edit]

Promotional Teaser for the "St Andrews Girls" charity single and video

On 3 March 2012, the group competed for the fourth time in The Voice Festival UK, entering the St Andrews Regional Round. The group won the round, as well as the award for 'Outstanding Performance', and progressed to the final in London,[22] where they won the award for 'Outstanding Arrangement' for their song 'Skinny Love'. Shortly afterwards, the group performed for the English National Ballet at their annual Gala Fundraiser held in The Dorchester. Pictures of the performance were published in Tatler.[23]

Almost a year after the anniversary of "Royal Romance", the group revealed plans for their latest project, a charity video and single in aid of Breast Cancer Care entitled "St Andrews Girls".[24][25] As part of the filming process, the group invited girls from St Andrews to be a part of the video during a special day of recording in St Salvator's Quad, St Andrews, on 22 April 2012. The single was released onto YouTube on 15 May 2012.[26] On 22 May, the group revealed on their Facebook page that after one week, the song had raised over £1000 for Breast Cancer Care, and they had received statements of support from Colin Montgomerie, ex-member Jules Knight, and Dawn Porter, as well as several companies featured in the video, including Barbour and Hunter Boots.[27] As of 1 May 2014, the video has amassed over 170,000 views.[26]

The group went on tour between 10 and 15 July, performing in several venues in Nottingham, Oxford and London, including The Half Moon in Putney.[28]

Work on the group's Christmas EP, entitled The Other Guys' Christmas, began on 1 October 2012 and was completed five days later.[citation needed] The album was released on 26 November, and contained 8 tracks, including an original, entitled "Christmas Gets Worse Every Year", written and arranged by friend of the group, Oscar Foxley.[29][30]

The group then revealed plans to release the original track as a single as part of a campaign to achieve the UK Christmas number one. The campaign was launched on December 5 with the single made available for purchase in conjunction with a video on YouTube. As of 12 January 2013, the song had peaked at number 2 on the Amazon.com Bestsellers Chart, had amassed over 130,000 views on YouTube,[31] and had attracted media attention on Classic FM,[32] BBC Reporting Scotland and the Scottish Daily Mail on Sunday. The group had also received backing on Twitter from Neil Gaiman[33] and Stephen Fry,[34] as well as other members of the musical community, including Eric Whitacre[35] and members of Pentatonix.[36] In the first week the song was eligible for the Official Charts, it reached number 9 on the independent chart[37] and number 32 on the Scottish charts.[38]

2013: Valentine's Day Single and University of St Andrews' 600th Anniversary[edit]

On 16 January 2013, the group revealed plans to release an EP especially for Valentine's Day.[39] The album, entitled Just For You, was released on 5 February.[40] A week later, the group released another video onto YouTube, "I Only Bought You Flowers Because I Love You So". The single gained moderate success and garnered support from the likes of Alexander Armstrong[41] but performed much worse than their previous efforts, sitting on just over 40,000 views as of 1 May 2014.[42]

On 23 February, the group once again took part in the St Andrews Regional of the Voice Festival UK, winning the award for 'Outstanding Musicality'.[3] On August 16, the group took their first ever show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, performing their "One Night Stand" at Greyfriars Kirk.[43] In November, the University of St Andrews commissioned Oscar Foxley to write a song in commemoration of the university's 600th anniversary celebrations. The song, entitled "St Andrean Skies", débuted at an honorary graduation dinner attended by Hillary Clinton and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond.

2014: 10th Anniversary, US Tour and Scottish Champions[edit]

The Other Guys performing Ignition (Remix) at the Scottish A Cappella Championships in April 2014.

In January 2014, the group embarked on a tour of the East Coast of the United States to celebrate their 10th anniversary. They travelled to New York City on 9 January and performed in the Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on 11 January with the University Glee Club of New York City. They then moved onto Boston where they performed at several high schools and colleges including at Milton Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy and St. George's School, Newport.[44]

On 18 April 2014, the group took part in the inaugural Scottish A Cappella Championships (SACC), held in place of the St Andrews Regional of the Voice Festival UK. The group placed first with 405 points ahead of The Alleycats and The Accidentals and became the first outright champions of Scottish collegiate a cappella. Richard Phillips also won the award for 'Outstanding Vocal Percussion' for the group's rendition of Coldplay's "Fix You".[45]

Current members[edit]

  • Andrew Pattie - Tenor
  • Laurie Slavin - Tenor
  • Tarleton Watkins - Tenor
  • Ryan Hubner - Tenor
  • Mark Gregory - Baritone
  • Lewis Phillips - Baritone
  • Callum Woolley - Baritone
  • Ted Haxby - Baritone (Musical Director)
  • Richard Phillips - Bass/Vocal Percussion
  • Dan Stephans - Bass
  • Xander Johnson - Bass
  • Spencer Huffman - Bass

Alumni[edit]

Key:

  •   Group Member in Corresponding Year
  •   Temporary Absence
  • MD Musical Director in Corresponding Year
Name 04-05 05-06 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14 Notes
Maurice Rankin
Michael Choong
Hugh Huddleston
Guy Vesey
Jules Kay Now Jules Knight, later co-founded classical quartet Blake
Vino Srirathan
Andrew Ogletree MD MD Co-founder
Andy Lyall Co-founder
Tom Briggs
Sanjeev Srirathan MD
Alasdair McDowell MD
Anders Bjorgung
Charles Devlin
Josh Taee
Thomas Schratwieser
Daniel Sheldrick
Henry Synge Highly Commended Soloist: VF-UK 2011 Semi Final
David Borowsky MD Outstanding Vocal Percussion: 2008 ICCA Semi Final; Outstanding Soloist: 2009 VF-UK Final
Rory Feilen Outstanding Choreography: 2008 ICCA Quarter Final
Tom Baylem
Ollie Boesen
Iain Glen Outstanding Arrangement: 2010 VF-UK Semi Final
Derek Dishington
Matt Hinckley MD MD
Rob Baggott la Velle
Richard Hanford
Judd Kennedy
Matthew Pattie MD MD
Andrew Pattie
Richard Phillips Outstanding Arrangement: 2012 VF-UK Final; Outstanding Vocal Percussion: 2014 SACC
Mark Gregory
Sam Lipworth
Lewis Phillips
Laurie Slavin
Ted Haxby MD
Tarleton Watkins
Callum Woolley
Dan Stephans
Xander Johnson
Spencer Huffman
Ryan Hubner

Discography[edit]

Studio Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • Auld Lang Syne (Free Download) (2011)[49]
  • St Andrews Girls (Charity Single) (2012)[50]
  • Christmas Gets Worse Every Year (2012)[51]
  • I Only Bought You Flowers Because I Love You So (2013)

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Other Guys' Official YouTube Channel
  2. ^ ICCA Results 2008 Retrieved 1 May 2014
  3. ^ a b c d Voice Festival UK Results Retrieved 3 July 2011
  4. ^ "The Other Guys Album Launch". Kevin Dunion. 1 May 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "The Other Guys 'delighted' at online response to Royal Romance". The Courier. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Royal Romance: St Andrews students' tribute to Kate and William". STV News. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Other Guys Royal Romance on Youtube - Gaga for Kate and William". TNT Magazine. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "St. Andrews choir parodies royal courtship with Lady Gaga cover". NBC17.com. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Singing group has royal Bad Romance". Sky News Australia. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Royal Romance: The Other Guys Sing of Their Unrequited Love for Kate Middleton". The Times of India. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Viral Vid goes 'Gaga' for Royal Romance". msnbc. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  12. ^ Royal Romance: The Other Guys' Official Royal Wedding Video on YouTube
  13. ^ "Royal wedding: St Andrews celebrates matchmaking role". Daily Telegraph. 29 April 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  14. ^ "Mad Hatter's Tea Party". Muir Maxwell Trust. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  15. ^ "TOG Spread Christmas Cheer Across the Country". The UK University A Cappella Blog. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  16. ^ "Barely Regal Release Date Revealed". The UK University A Cappella Blog. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  17. ^ "Charity". The Other Guys. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  18. ^ "Other Guy Mark has high hopes for album". Ilkley Gazette. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  19. ^ "Latest Charity Work". The Other Guys. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  20. ^ "Other Guys Perform For Host Of Celebs". The Other Guys' Official Website. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  21. ^ "TOG Sing for Monty". The Other Guys Official Website. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  22. ^ "The Other Guys Complete London Line-Up". The UK University A Cappella Blog. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  23. ^ "English National Ballet Fundraiser Tatler Magazine". Tatler Magazine. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  24. ^ "The Other Guys Are Looking For Girls". The Other Guys' Official Website. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  25. ^ "The Other Guys Reveal New Charity Video and Single". The UK University A Cappella Blog. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  26. ^ a b St Andrews Girls: The Other Guys' Charity Single on YouTube
  27. ^ "The Other Guys - St Andrews Girls". www.tayscreen.com. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  28. ^ "The Other Guys' Summer Olympiad!". The Other Guys' Official Website. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  29. ^ "The Other Guys' Christmas Released". The Other Guys' Official Website. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  30. ^ "The Other Guys Release Christmas Album". The UK University A Cappella Blog. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  31. ^ Christmas Gets Worse Every Year: The Other Guys' Christmas Single on YouTube
  32. ^ "A cappella choir The Other Guys aim for Christmas No. 1". Classic FM. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  33. ^ Neil Gaiman on Christmas Gets Worse Every Year on Twitter
  34. ^ Stephen Fry on Christmas Gets Worse Every Year on Twitter
  35. ^ Eric Whitacre on Christmas Gets Worse Every Year on Twitter
  36. ^ Scott Hoying on Christmas Gets Worse Every Year on Twitter
  37. ^ Independent Singles Top 40 on www.officialcharts.com
  38. ^ Scottish Singles Top 40 on www.officialcharts.com
  39. ^ "New Record Announced For Valentine's Release". The Other Guys' Official Website. 16 Jan 20143. Retrieved 15 Jan 2014. 
  40. ^ "Valentine's EP Release". The Other Guys' Official Website. 5 Feb 2013. Retrieved 15 Jan 2014. 
  41. ^ Alexander Armstrong on I Only Bought You Flowers on Twitter
  42. ^ I Only Bought You Flowers Because I Love You So on YouTube
  43. ^ "The Other Guys: One Night Stand at the Edinburgh Fringe". The Other Guys' Official Website. 11 Aug 2013. Retrieved 16 Jan 2014. 
  44. ^ "New York and Boston Tour". The Other Guys' Official Website. 1 Jan 2014. Retrieved 16 Jan 2014. 
  45. ^ "Results". The Scottish A Cappella Championships. 1 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  46. ^ Well Sung (2009) on CDBaby
  47. ^ Barely Regal (2011) on BandCamp
  48. ^ The Other Guys' Christmas (2012) on BandCamp
  49. ^ Auld Lang Syne (2011) on BandCamp
  50. ^ St Andrews Girls (2012) on BandCamp
  51. ^ Christmas Gets Worse Every Year (2012) on iTunes

External links[edit]