Monday, 3 November 2008

Karaoke – the good, the bad and the ugly

Karaoke – you either love it or hate it. I, for one, fall into the former camp.

There is something sort of therapeutic about belting out Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’, even if you sound like a drowning cat with a fur ball. But then experts have often said that singing is good for you by releasing the feel good chemicals endorphins into the bloodstream.

There is also something else that makes karaoke cathartic. It’s one thing to sing in the shower or to mimic your favourite artists singing into your hairbrush in the privacy of the bedroom. But there is true liberation if you can make an absolute fool of yourself in front of others who are equally front runners in joining the geek squad – and not give a dam. Or maybe it’s the sadistic pleasure of watching these other people fully embracing karaoke…

Nevertheless, when my friend announced she was organising a karaoke evening, I all but jumped at the chance. It had been a little over a year since I had last partaken in karaoke, and there were some very clear unwritten rules involved.
1) Microphone hoggers are a no-no – should anyone maintain their grip on the microphone for more than two songs they will receive a lot of evil glares.
2) It is compulsory to be bad at singing – while everyone secretly wants to be the next Leona Lewis during karaoke, it is exceptionally bad form to outdo everyone else in the room.
3) You must take part at least once – no one likes a party pooper.
4) The Foundations’ hit song ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ is a must on the song list.

I attempted to sing – and failed – Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the Best’ (yay, achieved unwritten rule number two). Funny though, as I had sung that last time I karaoked and I’m sure I was simply the best during that rendition, or so I was lead to believe. But clearly the number of Sambuca shots you have, is not equivalent to outstanding vocal talent. In fact, standing up also does not increase your chances of reaching those high notes (or any notes for that matter), and likewise with how loud you yell into the microphone or any funky chicken/air guitar moves you add.

I can effectively say that our combined effort sounded at times somewhat like fingernails scrapping along a blackboard mixed with a two-year-old let loose on the musical instrument the recorder with the local homeless dogs serenading in the background. To say we were bad would probably be an understatement. Though, everyone else at the venue sounded exactly like us. But, ultimately, it was fun and that is all that matters.

Moral of the story? We should not give up our day jobs and X-Factor/Pop Idol should never be considered.

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