These days, they have live streaming at this karaoke pub in London and yes, I’ve been watching week after week without fail even though I would not say the singers are all that good. LOL!!!
Why do I bother to watch then, you may ask? Well, I love singing and I’ve always enjoyed karaoke…
To me, it’s a whole lot of fun even if one’s singing ain’t that great and I do derive a bit of enjoyment from just watching it. For one thing, it brings back fond memories of those wonderful nights at the pubs when I was in Plymouth, England in the autumn of 1994.
I did not venture out at night the first month I was there but I did go around in the daytime, weekends especially, to familiarise myself with the place and I saw that they had karaoke once a week on Monday nights at Bruno’s Bar, a small, dark and unimpressive pub right beside the Prince Regent…
…at one end of Union Street, Plymouth’s red light district, I was told.
Sometime in my 2nd month there, I finally made my way there and sang my heart out, my first time in the UK! The song I picked was this one and I was delighted that they had an excellent karaoke sound system and those Pioneer karaoke laser discs that I liked a lot. The video clips are great and the music is exactly like the original songs so if you can sing the originals, you would be able to sing to what they have on those discs. Besides, I used to frequent a pub in Sibu – they did not have the discs but they had the tracks on video tapes…and I knew exactly whether they would need to lower the key or make it higher and by how much, if necessary.
So how did my debut appearance go? Well, I must say that they were stunned! Obviously, they never had an Asian in their midst before, much less one who would go up on stage and sing…and the deejay said that he expected me to sound something like this – and he started speaking like Peter Sellers as a Chinese character or one of those in the popular TV series, “Mind your language”. Since then, there was no turning back and I was there every Monday, week after week until it was time for me to pack my bags and leave and come home.
I also found out that the mobile karaoke guys would be here at The Good Companion…
…along Mayflower Street (I read somewhere that it has been demolished already) on Wednesday nights and of course, eventually, I made my way there too and it became my routine, going to sing my heart out twice a week. The crowd here was younger and they told me it was because the Plymouth University was close by so they would get a lot of international students from Russia and places in Europe at the pub.
Beer was only a £ a pint there and the exchange rate at the time was RM3.50 to £1, so cheap. Back home in Sibu then, I would have to fork out around RM10.00 or more for a mug of draught beer. This may come as a surprise to many – they did not open till late over there, believe it or not – singing started at 9.00 p.m. and ended by 11.00 p.m.
They had very good singers there, not like the ones in the aforementioned live streaming. There was a guy, Tony, who would sing “Mandy” without fail and a very young plus-sized girl would sing Sinead O’ Connor. I never got to know them personally though, never got to know their names but ever so often, I would meet some young people in the city centre and they would all be calling my name and waving at me and I could jolly well guess that they were “my friends” from the pubs.
My final night was at The Good Companion and the deejay announced that I was leaving and he did not think they would ever have anybody like me coming their way again. This was the last song I sang and everyone took out their lighters (no, they did not have handphones then) and waved the little flame in the air – I was so so touched, to say the least. Sadly, all I have left left now are the beautiful memories at Bruno’s and the Good Companion but one thing’s for sure – they are forever cherished and will always live on in my hearts.
Going back to the live streaming, they also have this one from a place called Two Friends at Key West – if I am not mistaken, that is in Florida in the US. They seem to have better singers there and they sure do have a lot of fun too. Too bad they did not have this when I was in Plymouth – the folks back home would be able to watch me singing live on Youtube. That would have been a blast!!!
18 thoughts on “Sing my heart out…”
I am not a karaoke person but I do enjoy listening to it when people sing especially oldies. Though I am English educated person, I prefer listening to Mandarin oldies more than English. You have indeed alot of fond and sweet memories to cherish when you recall back your days over there.
Yes, such wonderful memories to cherish a lifetime. Somehow I could guess you are more into Mandarin songs…but you were a request fan in your younger days, no? Of course, songs in those days were much nicer, oldies but goodies!
Yay, am a request fan once upon a time. So are you? I guess those are the only interest I have during my younger days.
LOL!!! I loved dancing too then…but not singing. I only started in the late 70’s when I got posted to teach in Kanowit. My requesting time would be in the 60’s till the early 70’s…
Used to be crazy about karaoke during my single days, but not anymore. Haha. I still do enjoy singing and listening to songs though.
It’s good to invest in a good karaoke system at home, spend quality time with the family, relaxing, bonding and singing your hearts out. Great way to relieve stress and depression. These days, we see all the figures, all the reports – so very depressing, really!
You have some sweet memories from those days. You must be a good singer that the people in the pubs welcome you and your singing. I am not into Karaoke even though I enjoy listening to both English and Chinese oldies. There was a neighbour who had a karaoke system in his house and they will be singing in the evening after dinner. It was quite entertaining listening to their singing, some good and some were out of tune.
I wish I had a system at home.. Our friend, Claire, loves karaoke. We went singing when she came to Sibu and we did it again when we met in Penang. So much fun!
Kids these days do not karaoke anymore.
They only know how to TikTok, isn’t this sad?
Is Plymouth worth seeing? The only Union Street that I know of is located in Aberdeen in the Far North up in Scotland.
I kinda miss Scotland now.
I wanted so much to go to Scotland but come December, when I had finished my major assignment and everyone else was struggling with theirs, I wanted to sneak away to go there (or Ireland) but the weather was bad and it got a little too cold so I abandoned the plan.
Plymouth was very nice, the beautiful, laid back, relaxed South, dunno now…not like the industrial cities in the Midlands and I loved Sheepstor, nearby in Devon, the burial grounds of the White Rajahs of Sarawak:
Karaoke is my guilty pleasure – not me singing but me listening to people murder songs LOL! Some people are vocally gifted like you and it is a pleasure to hear them sing. I remembered an annual dinner at a company I used to work for and they had karaoke that evening. One guy went up to sing Killing Me Softly and and a few people at my table were like – “Aiyo, Eddy is really killing me softly!” and “This is a good time to take toilet break”. LOL!
Kesian!!! But honestly some people are tone deaf. They do not seem to realise that they are singing it all wrong. I will always sing at school dinners…and at weddings! As the English proverb goes, “Every ass loves to hear itself bray!” LOL!!!
I love to sing as well but I don’t frequent karaoke joints. 🙂 It sure is a good feeling to reminisce about the good old days right?
Yes, those beautiful memories bring back all the joy in one’s heart at the time. At a time like this, it can be such a consolation that life was so good and we once were so happy.
I love karaoke despite being pretty much tone deaf!
LOL!!! That’s hilarious!
Oh gosh, I wish I could sing, but it is just not my talent.
No worries! Karaoke is all for the fun of it! You can try watching the live streaming from London and also from Key West, Florida every weekend. I do that as I enjoy it very much. Many of them can’t sing to save their lives. So hilarious!