“Summer Lovin’. Had me a Blast!” That’s how we launched into our Karaoke evening.

It was my choice. I decided to take charge (since I had organized the evening) and since I didn’t want to waste time trying to agree on a song – or give any chance for my booze-buzz to wear off – I punched it into the (overly-complicated) Korean karaoke machine and launched into my best John Travolta.

It worked. In seconds, I had about five Olivia Newton-John’s singing back at me.

Well, how else do you start the festivities at Karaoke with a group of friends who are mostly new to the experience (myself included)? I say the best way is to just keep on choosing songs that everyone knows – which is more or less what we did all evening.

I also racked my brain to find songs that held some emotional meaning for me and at least one other friend in the group. That way I could demand they stand for a duet with me. With Michael Ball, for instance, I pulled him up for Air Supply’s “Making Love out of Nothing at All” – which I knew was one of his favourite Karaoke songs (not least because you can add his name into it):

And I’m never gonna make it like you do
Makin’ love out of nothing at all (Michael Ball!)
Out of nothing at all (Michael Ball!)

Duets, baby. That’s where it’s at!

That’s not all though. Booze is a great social lubricant, and even those who had stated outright that they would join us but NEVER sing held the mic at least once that evening. And when they weren’t in the limelight, they were singing along in their seats, or playing along with one of the three tambourines in our room! That was a nice touch – the percussion – although probably annoying to anyone with a headache. They gave us something to do when our voices started to crack from overuse.

Damn you, Korean spirits!

Damn you, Korean spirits!

To be honest, I may have been a little TOO drunk. Not that I got sick, but I can’t really remember a lot of the songs we picked. Reena has since told me numerous times that we sang such-and-such a song, and I still can’t remember. I blame the shots of Soju that someone (<cough> Junkii <cough>) decided were necessary to the event’s success.

It’s a tricky balance. You want to be drunk enough to lose your inhibitions but not so drunk you can’t focus enough to read the list of songs or, worse still, the lyrics on screen! Plus, too much booze and you might start picking songs that don’t keep the crowd engaged; or one you don’t even know the lyrics or melody to!

Thanks to whoever chose Copa Cabana though. That was pure awesomeness.

His name was Rico. He wore a Diamond.
He was escorted to his chair He saw Lola dancing there.
And when she finished, he called her over
but Rico went a bit too far, Tony sailed across the bar.
And then the punches flew…

Even Junkii sang that one! Which surprised him, but not me. He’s shy, but he does like music.



I was proud that I nailed a couple of rap songs – something I didn’t expect I’d be able to do convincingly. Of course, it may have only been convincing in my head, but Reena says I did a good job. People listening (less drunk people) probably didn’t care for my rendition of Kris Kross’s “Jump” – but I was oblivious to any naysayers.

Some of them try to rhyme but they can’t rhyme like this
Cuz I’m the mikkida-mikkida-mikkida-mikkida-Mac Daddy

I was also oblivious to anyone wanting to take the mic away. Turns out I’m a bit of a mic hog – which I think was okay in this instance. Perhaps if we had a more experienced Karaoke crowd it would have been an issue… If I ever join Reena’s Toronto friends I’ll need to be better at sharing. But in this instance people seemed content to stand back and let me have my way.

More showtunes would have been nice, too – especially with this crowd. We did manage a few. Do-Re-Me stands out as a showstopper, with Darlene and I re-enacting the choreography from the film.

When you know the notes to sing
You can sing most aaaanyyyyyythiiiiiing!

It was caught on video but has since been deleted (I believe). Recording devices should be prohibited in a Karaoke environment.

Screen-Shot-2013-07-16-at-12.14The evening came to a raucous end with a rousing chorus of Bon Jovi’s “It’s my Life” – and that’s just how it should have ended. We stumbled out of the club a little after 1 am, still drunk on the performance (and the soju). We stumbled off to our respective homes.

It’s my liiiiife; it’s now or never.
I ain’t gonna live forever

The event was a resounding success… and for a Friday night, having 10-15 people hang out until after 1 am was quite an achievement. But to have all the people who said they weren’t going to sing clamour for the mic means we’re gonna need to do this again soon.

Thankfully, Reena’s already on it. Time to start making a list of songs for our next gig. I still need to sing Total Eclipse of the Heart!


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