There are two types of people in this world, those who Karaoke and those who don’t.
For those who don the mic, you’re a different breed, you’re a Geffing rockstar, man. Time stands still as it’s just you, a screen full of blurry fluorescent words and a crowd full of faces.
There are many different types of Karaoke-ers, there’s the “Big Chorus Charlie’s” who only ever sing the Sweet Caroline’s of this world then there’s the “Liam Gallagher’s” who with full parka sing Wonderwall in all its Nasal-Glory and you’ve also got the “Ballad B*thces” who favour a Whitney or a Celine Dion. Whoever you are, you Karaoke and I love ya!
Now listen up friends. Anyone can Karaoke, that’s the beauty of it, but there are some rules. In fact, there are 7 rules passed down from Karaoke legends of times gone by. Following these rules and you’ll surely succeed and go down in Karaoke Folklore.
#1 KNOW THE SONG
This rule sounds bloody obvious but without fail each week you get those performers who are only familiar with the chorus and have a perplexed look of confusion when they come across a verse that they didn’t even know existed.
You’re not expected to know the entire song off by heart, that’s why the lyrics cascade down a 14-inch beer stained monitor, but knowing the song basically lays the foundations for all other Karaoke rules. My recommendation is to have your go-to songs, your catalogue. Songs you know you can nail, and songs you know are glorified crowd pleasers.
#2 COMMITMENT TO THE CAUSE
Remember why you picked up the mic in the first place. The other pub goers have a deep thirst, not for alcohol, but for sheer passion and showmanship. They want to see that the performance means something. No mono-toned Jon Bon Jovi’s please, only the folks who are gonna give it their all. If your voice breaks, it doesn’t matter! Clench the fist and power through! Livin’ on a Prayer? Nah, Livin’ on a f*cking performance that will make a lasting impression on those hungover heads the following day.
#3 MOVE B*TCH
No gormless stares at the screen. You’ve got hips and legs for a reason, MOVE! Tina Turner didn’t stand still so neither do you. Of course, your ability to move away from the screen is aided by how well you know your song (see rule 1) but regardless the people want to see life up there!
Disclaimer: The Establishment may limit the moveable space. (The Saddle)
A Wireless Mic is your best mate with this rule and is the physical embodiment of freedom. You’re free from the shackles of that cord so get in and amongst the crowd and put on a show.
#4 KNOW YOUR CROWD / CHOOSE THE RIGHT SONG
Understanding the right crowd is crucial. You want them on your side and you want them to join in. They’re the Hall to your Oates, the Simon to your Garfunkel.. If you do it right they’ll perform it with you and in times of trouble, they can be the saviour as even if you sound like a bag of cats they’ll drown you out while they lose their voices and enjoy themselves.
“But how do I understand a crowd of p!ssheads?” I hear you ask?
Well, it’s a cumulative of factors. It’s about appreciating the location, the time of night, the rowdiness of the crowd. Don’t end the night with a song that kills the moment, end it with a bang.
#5 TOO DRUNK?
There is a positive correlation when it comes to the level of intoxication and confidence. The more pissed you are the more likely you are to sing. This forms part of what we in the karaoke world call “Sorry-oke.” This is where the performer loses all functions to perform the song well. They shout, they slur and they just murder the song and this leads to that dreaded beer fear and regret the following morning. You’re basically sorry because you’ve let the crowd down, you’ve let your family down but even more importantly, you’ve let yourself down.
So ask yourself; “How drunk am I actually?” If the answer is followed by vomit or an inability to articulate then maybe put the mic down. But let’s face it, in a gin frenzy you’re probably going to sing anyway, and that’s fine, but don’t say I didn’t warn ya!
#6 STRANGER NO DANGER
The less people you know the better. You shouldn’t fear the unknown, you should embrace it. The crowd have no expectations, and neither should you. Use this time to trial and test songs that you want to perform but you’re not sure how they’ll go down. This is what seasoned professional Comedian’s do. You might be a laughing stock as well but it doesn’t matter. Practice makes perfect in this game.
#7 KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS
Some people are better than others, and that’s just the way the Karaoke World works. Some people are born with it and others aren’t. As sad as it might be, some people were simply not born to sing Gloria Gaynor. Knowing where you lack will point your focus on the songs you can before, the notes you can hit and the hearts you will make throb.
Now I can’t promise you success but I can promise you that if you follow the rules you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of setting the pub alight with a Karaoke performance that will rock the joint.
Amongst all the rules you must remember to have fun, it’s a laugh, a time not to take you or anyone else seriously. Oh and remember, ALWAYS RESPECT THE DJ!