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A Where2sing.com exclusive Karaoke Gig Review

Royal Hotel karaoke venue review on www.where2sing.com

REVIEW: Wed: Fight Night


Beenleigh is an outer southern suburb of Brisbane, or perhaps better described as a little town. It's one of those that used to form the chain of suburbs nearly halfway to the Gold Coast in the days that the old road wound through these places. But these days such places are bypassed, and they are therefore just names on the freeway signs. And, of course, they are places where couples can afford decent sized plots of land on which to raise a family. Families grow, and the young need somewhere to go on a Wednesday night.

So I didn't know what to expect when I headed off to find the Royal Hotel - would it be a little pub with a couple of old timers, a place filled with youngsters, or the local karaoke joint taken over by the enthusiasts.

There's a main street in Beenleigh, and it is home to three pubs in close proximity. One of these is the Royal Hotel. I parked so close to the front door that, to be any closer, I would have had to park in the front bar. Two youthful security guys were chatting to a couple of girls at the front door, and I squeezed past them all to gain entry. Inside, it was one large room, the bar being set around two walls that jutted into the room, and plenty of open space with high tables and stools.

As I entered, the karaoke was set up immediately on my right and in an alcove - well, an alcove that was pretty big and would have housed a band. Right in the middle of this alcove was a Yamaha speaker high on a stand, and the singer and equipment were set up to the entry door side of this speaker. There wasn't much equipment - just a player and amp sitting on a long table pushed up against the side of the alcove, and a TV in front of the singer and sitting on top of the other Yamaha speaker. And the words were displayed for the audience on a large LCD screen mounted high on the wall in the corner of the room nearest the entry door.

All very basic., and producing a reasonable sound - though it was slightly rattly and sounding either as though the speakers were being pushed too hard, or that they had worn through over-use. As the song came to an end, the solid girl host made her way to the equipment, banished the singer with 'Give a big hand to ....', and welcomed the next singer with 'Matt and Dave...' or some similarly named statement. All very cursory.

Rap was the order of the day, and I enjoy rap especially when it is done well. Rap was obviously the only thing that this crowd liked, because the next half dozen songs were rap of some measure. And indeed, some of it was done really well, and all was quite impressive. These were young guys out to impress their friends, and if rap was the way to do it, then they were all going to rap. Thumbs and little fingers were being extended from hands all around the venue, chests were being puffed out and silly stances perfected, all in the name of copying the black American dance look. And even if I couldn't actually hear it, the words 'm*therf*cker, m*therf*cker' were being silently intoned to complete the picture. Yes, MTV has a heck of a lot to answer for.

There was one barman tending a very long bar, and he nearly missed me. Just as he turned away to serve someone else, he remembered I was next in line and turned back - this is the mark of a good barman. His service was quick, largely without anything that you would class as courtesy, but with impressive speed and efficiency and certainly not discourteous. In my 'L' of the room they were playing pool, or watching it, and so I wandered up the other part of the 'L' shaped room.

Through the door at the end of the bar, and I was into another large room - this one filled with pokie machines. It is also the place you go if you'd like to eat, and there were four decent looking meals on the board at $10, and a sign that said 'kids eat free on Wednesdays'. Today.

Back in the main bar, the rap was continuing. The host dispatched each singer with the . . .(full story on where2sing.com)

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