I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I honestly love karaoke, both performing myself as well as watching others whilst in hysterics. I’m lucky to have family and a group of friends that on the whole love it too, however Polly (my wife) doesn’t share my enthusiasm, in fact she pretty much hates it, but even she has been known to get up there and give it a go (after a few Gin & Tonics). My local pub has it on regularly and you’ll often find me singing along to personal favourites such “Brown-Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “She moves in her own way” by The Kooks, “Brown Sugar” by The Rolling Stones and even “Ice-Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice. My musical taste in general is extremely diverse and this also reflects in my attitude to giving most things a go at karaoke, I’m by no means a great singer, however I can hold a note, the main thing is, I love it!
For Christmas 2009, my wife bought me the Lucky Voice Party Box Set and extra microphone for Christmas. It’s a great idea! (If you like making a fool of yourself and singing karaoke). Basically, you get a mixer, a bright pink microphone (or two if you buy an extra one) and some wires that you hook up to your computer and stereo. You need to create an account at http://home.luckyvoice.com/ search for your favourite songs and away you go! There is a small charge of £3.99 for 24 hours of unlimited singing (roughly the same price as hiring a film) The lyrics are streamed to your browser and the music is routed through your stereo. You can even make yourself sound remotely good as the mixer allows you to alter the volumes of the music and microphones as well as add an echo effect to your singing.
For my 30th Birthday, I’d hired out the upstairs room at my local pub, however we soon moved downstairs to the main bar when we realised karaoke was on!
Earlier this year, I went travelling around Australia with my best friend and whilst in Mandurah, a little harbour town south of Perth, we ventured in to an Irish Bar on a Wednesday evening and they had the final of a karaoke competition that had been running for several weeks. Many of them were truly dreadful with a couple of people who could really sing. Once the competition had finished, they opened up the mic to the rest of the pub and I just couldn’t resist. My mate chose the song and I took to the stage, “Don’t look back in anger” by Oasis, as I left the stage to cheers and whistling, a guy came over and said, “you should’ve won that competition tonight”. I wouldn’t have minded either, the winner got $2000AUD!
This New Year was also a great opportunity to give the box set an airing so we took it round to my friend’s house party, he has an ideal cellar room with a flat screen on the wall and stereo set up. Being in the cellar it doesn’t bother the neighbours too much which is a godsend as I literally had to pull the plug out at 4am to stop the singing.
This is my favourite photograph from New Year’s Eve, everyone having a great time, feeling like rock stars for a night…
Let me know if you like karaoke and if so, what songs you like to perform!