Monday, 4 March 2013


WORDS | Thea Halpin

Karaoke, from the Japanese words ‘kara’ meaning ‘empty or bare handed’ and ‘okee’ meaning orchestra is a popular form of entertainment originating in Japan/form of embarrassment for drunken idiots the world over.  As the story goes karaoke originated in Kobe, Japan when a bar owner had his musical act cancel on him last minute.  Out of desperation he decided to turn on the music and ask the patrons to sing: and so karaoke was born. 

My first brush with karaoke was at Amanda Stefan’s 8th birthday party.  She had received an Australian Idol Karaoke Machine (back in the Guy Sebastian years) and we were all going to take turns on it.  Being a group of Year Three children in a pre-iPod age we didn't know all the words to any song and the Karaoke fun hit a low point when Kimberly Lenox sang Advance Australia Fair, as it was the only song we all knew apart from church hymns.  However, with the introduction of moderately excessive alcohol consumption, karaoke and I have reconciled and become the BFFLs we were always destined to be.

Step One: Gather non-judgemental counterparts

The people you karaoke with are vital to the ultimate success/failure of your evening (or day depending on how much is going on in your life.)  Same-sex accomplices are not a necessity but can be helpful in completely letting loose to the hits of the eighties.  Pick wisely.  Side note: although you secretly believe you have performance skills on par with those of Beyonce, you are probably wrong.  People are very rarely made more attractive with the addition of Karoke so if there is someone who you would, at some point, like to make-out with, DO NOT invite them to karaoke!  My friend Melanie was being hit on by a guy when it was our turn to sing.  He was gone by the first chorus of ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’.

Step Two: Cheaper the wine, the funner the time!

I would never advocate excessive alcohol consumption (do as I say not as I do) but a bit of Dutch Courage won’t go astray when attempting the high note in I Will Survive.  If you are going to drink a lot—like HEAPS—please pick an easy song.  Nobody wants to watch a person slur the whole rap of Superbass then fall of stage and vomit under a table.  You can’t hold your alcohol as well as you think.

Step Three: Know your vocal limits

Choosing a song is much harder than people realise until they are up on stage during Get into the Groove by Madonna awkwardly swaying along to the two minute dance music solo.  Bohemian Rhapsody is a classic but also a trap.  They song goes for like 20 minutes and you have to do that whole “THUNDER AND LIGHTENING, VERY, VERY FRIGHTENING!  GALILEO!  GALILEO!”  Don't be that person.  Karaoke with friends is more than acceptable and possibly preferred if you are tonally challenged and need to be drowned out.  Be sure to pick a song that everyone knows.  I took control one night at the Vic and decided we would all sing ‘Wannabe’ by The Spice Girls (assuming everyone was as big of a fan as I am).  No one knew any of the verses and weren’t particularly good at the chorus, let alone the rap which was a solo attempt by me.  To make matters worse the version played was not the original and, being the classist that I am, I refused to sing anything but. Instead I decided to sing over the lyrics on screen much to the dismay of the twenty other Victory Hotel patrons yelling at me to read the screen.  Don't be overly passionate about your song choice: it is only karaoke after all.


Forget that during daylight hours you are a somewhat respectable human being and enjoy making a fool of yourself.  The more into the song you get the hilarious the photos on FaceBook will be the next day, if-so-facto the more fun of a person you will seem!  Let loose Izeicles!!!

Please enjoy the collection of photos of my friends in all their karaoke glory.

1 comment:

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