Tonight sees The Sing Off. Jamie Hutton critiques the chants and competition.

Heat One

The evening sees lots of aggression from Falk Egg’s entrance, shouting and swearing which could lead to yet another disqualification for the hall.

Falk Egg chanting prematurely there with ‘you pay our benefits’. Nice to hear something more political.SingOff1The Holt kick things off we lots of aggressive slagging off of other halls. Harry French get the first bit of casual sexism of the night under their belt, lots of references to ‘whores’.

Great passion from Falk Egg. Rule breaking as they go past their time slot, a blatant disregard for the rules. But you can’t fault that commitment. It seems the judges do not agree however, meaning disqualification for the hall. Yet their chant didn’t come across as quite as offensive as Harry French or perhaps even as aggressive as The Holt. Behaviour between chants seems to come under a lot more scrutiny than the chants themselves.

Faraday are drawing on their previous IMS success in their chant and calling out other halls’ lack of ‘intellectuals’. You can tell they’re not fans of Royce from many of their chants! Title holders, Telford threaten to ruin some childhoods with a combination of The Lion King and references to sexual promiscuity (and more calling out of ‘whores’).

After the first Heat there doesn’t seem to be too much variety in the chants so far. Apart from Falk Egg and Telford, most halls themes seem hard to spot. The focus seems to be on mainly on offending rival halls rather than imaginative home chants.

Harry French at The Sing Off
Harry French at The Sing Off
Heat Two

Problems with space continue in Heat Two as DC trickle in slowly and struggle to fill their area quickly. Over-crowdedness is an issue every year at the Sing Off and often causes many to stand for over an hour in a boiling Room One. Towers now displaying the ‘Better Decisions’ hand sign, showing them to be up to date with Loughborough’s welfare campaigns and conscious of the sometimes aggressively sexist tone the Sing Off can take.

‘Better Decisions’ quickly replaced by a middle finger. It seems that the aggression of the Sing Off is not easily subdued. No rules broken so far in Heat Two but there does seem to be a general animosity towards the rules as they are greeted with boos.

Towers with the only female lead chant of the night. Lots of use of pop songs proves for a catchy chant. Also ‘shut up’ in place of ‘f**k you’ is a nice polite change. Their references to the Exec scandal of last year is original but could be cause for controversy as they question the legitimacy of last years election and the petition that followed.

DC calling out ‘Cayley S**ts’ in their chant. It may be somewhat of a Loughborough tradition however, their declaration that they ‘see them naked, get no wood’ seems unnecessarily mean spirited. Elvyn acknowledging the price of their hall by bragging about how much money they spend is also a new angle. Rutherford now responding to Rigg Rut’s chant with the Better Decisions sign.

Lots of derogatory terms for women in Rigg Rut’s chant as well, something that has been an unfortunate theme of the competition so far.

Heat Three
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Telford and Faraday at The Sing Off

More Better Decisions signs from Cayley. Seems to be the thinking hall’s middle finger of the Sing Off. Most halls now showing the Better Decisions sign. Seems as though the welfare campaign has really struck a cord with halls this year. Bill Mo with their backs turned to the Exec however does come across as bit disrespectful and unsporting.

More mention of ‘Cayley  s**ts’ from Bakewell, but at least Cayley are actually in the room for this one so it feels slightly more justified. Bill Mo next with possibly the most aggressive chant of the night so far. References to other halls ‘sucking d**k’ and gunfire sounds. Somehow though this passion is matched equally with a well co-ordinated chant, a combination that is really what the Sing Off is all about.

Cayley using lots of traditional chants (‘nick nack paddy whack’… etc.) making for a boisterous chant, even if it’s not much we haven’t heard before this evening. Butler asking other halls to ‘suck our c**ks’ is again troubling aggressive and masculine sexual imagery.

Heat Three an overall mixed bag, but some great displays of co-ordination from some halls really showing off the sense of community the Sing Off can create.

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Towers at The Sing Off

End of Heat Three means every hall has now performed. It’s been a particularly consistent year, with all chants containing a mix of famous chants and pop songs, as well as profanity and casual sexism. Rigg Rut and Falk Egg were probably the most boisterous, reflected in their subsequent disqualifications, but their chants were not necessarily the most offensive. When The Sing Off works best it allows for a sense of community not only within halls but also between them, as everyone takes part in an event that is quintessentially Loughborough. At its worst it rewards aggression rather than passion and encourages rivalry at a time when new faces in Loughborough would want to feel as included as possible.

Follow Label on Twitter @LabelOnline and LSU Media @LSUMedia for consistent updates throughout the evening. Also check out our commentary article here.

Photography by Ushandan Kirupalaratnam


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