AROUND 200 barbershop singers hit the right note when they performed a medley of a capella favourites on the steps of the BIC yesterday.

The singers were in town over the weekend for the annual convention of the British Association of Barbershop Singers.

Now in its 43rd year, the convention saw 1,200 visitors take part in championships to find the top chorus and quartet.

Most of the singing took part inside the BIC - but yesterday passersby were delighted when they brought their musical talents outside for the traditional massed sing.

Around 200 people gathered on the steps of the BIC to perform a selection of Barbershop Polecats - which are a set of around a dozen standards that every barbershop singer knows.

Led by Rob Barber, who conducted the group, songs included Down By The Old Mill Stream, Under the Boardwalk and Wait Till The Sun Shines Nellie.

The performance finished with Irish Blessing, which was dedicated to those who have been affected by the Manchester bomb attack.

Convention manager Alan Bithell is a member of six times British champions the Cottontown Chorus, whose repertoire includes a James Bond medley and a Bat Out of Hell medley of eight songs.

He said: “Barbershop is not the striped waistcoats and straw boaters that it was back in the 1920s. It’s very much dinner jacket and suits.

“It’s a lot more modern than people who aren’t familiar with barbershop will be aware.”

He said the style of singing originated in America’s deep south before moving to Britain. The convention, which has attracted around 2,500 people, included visitors from all over Europe as well as the UK and US.

“It's been a great weekend and everyone seems to have had a brilliant time," added Mr Bithell.

"For us though it's not just about the singing, but the socialising. It's lovely to see some old friends and meet some new faces.

"It's always a great time when we get together like this."

The weekend also included only the second ever competition for mixed-sex choruses, as well as a programme of masterclasses and entertainment.