Sing Your Heart Out

There's a new trend in town for all those who love to sing along to their favourite tunes. Karaoke is a popular activity in the capital, with bars and some restaurants offering it as a specialty. While private karaoke booths may be the preference for some singing stars, the Southern Cross Bar now offers a very alternative option for those who crave a live stage performance.

'Bandeoke' kicked off on Thursday at the bar; a twist to regular karaoke, where the singer is backed by a live band. This means no more cheesy, synthesized backing tracks, but drums, guitar, bass – just like the original of most popular karaoke songs had when they were written.

According to Wikipedia, live band karaoke originated in the underground New York punk scene, before it was brought out into the open in 2004 at a club in Montreal. Many cities around the US now boast live band karaoke bars. I hear a particular bar in Chicago makes for an awesome night out.

Different from the privacy of personal booths, live band karaoke plays up to the ‘performance’ of the singer. The band plays on a stage in front of the audience, and the lucky singer is there, front and centre, to sing their chosen song.

The Cross has bumped it up a level, stating that anyone who sounds "like a cat being strangled" while singing their heart out will be 'gonged' off-stage. Anyone who can make it through a song, though, will be shouted a drink.

While I was very proud of getting 98% (or something like that) for a performance of MJ's 'Man in the Mirror' at my last karaoke outing, I'm not sure if an audience would be as forgiving as a Korean karaoke machine. For me, I’d most likely be in the audience, or performing in the safety of a group.

In saying that, there are some fantastic singers out there, some who have never had the chance to see if their singing stacks up with a live band. So imagine that; you might be awesome singing with a band. And if you are, you’ll score a free drink! Now that’s rock and roll.

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