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Shenannigans Irish Pub karaoke venue review on www.where2sing.com

Shenannigans Irish Pub

Monday nights are known as quiet nights, particularly not the time of the week at which you may expect a large crowd.

But Adelaide's had a Monday karaoke venue for over four years, and to survive this long it must have attracted at least a reasonably sized following.
Shenannigans Irish Pub is set at the top of a surburban shopping centre, positioned next to the cinema, and with parking very close. With no signs lower in the centre, it took me a bit of finding - but all you really need to know is to head for the cinema, and you'll end up close enough to fall over the entrance to the pub.

OK, so you know what an Irish Pub is, wooden panelling, pictures and objects of all things Irish, better quality beer on tap, and staff sporting an incomprehensible accent. Now think big, firstly in terms of space - for this place is really big - then in terms of decoration. Someone has made this Irish theme their passion, filling every nook with old books, mugs, pictures and the like. High up the walls (because the ceiling is very high) you'll see a desk setting, and in another area is a sort of turret lined on the inside with books. To use the word 'overdone' is to sell the experience delightfully short, and I'm sure that this was the intention of the designer. But it will bring a smile to the face of anyone who has toyed with the idea of decoration excess, and there's always something interesting to take your attention should the conversation lapse.

Adelaide had been a sort of wasteland, in where2sing.com terms, until along came Randy and Kath of Karaoke Light & Sound. Sometime hosts, but alltime suppliers of discs and equipment, they built the SA page with a regular flow of listings. So I dropped in on them earlier in the day, in their shop fairly local to Shenannigans, and we chatted for several hours before deciding to meet again later at Adelaide's only Monday night venue.

And now, I had only been in the place a couple of minutes and was still lining up at the bar, when in walked Randy and Kath. The place was still quiet, with maybe only thirty or forty people tucked into corners, so we secured a few stools by the bar, immediately in front of the stage. The karaoke had been advertised as starting at 8:30, and even the sign behind the bar confirmed this, and indeed the karaoke appeared all set up and ready, but it was nearly 9pm and nothing was yet happening. I saw several people select songs and add them to the list on the table next to the stage, and I wondered whether the present audience was all that we would see in the night, and that the hosts wanted to be sure that they had sufficient singers to last until Midnight.

One highly respected host in Adelaide is Margi, and indeed she was the host (along with husband Graham) at Adelaide's SBS heats, but only her husband and a girl called Annie (I think) were here this night. Graham was busy talking to a group of singers, and, after a few more minutes, the karaoke started.

First, we had Annie for two songs, and she performed well. Then we had Graham for two more songs, and he also performed well. The clock was getting towards 9:20, and several singers seemed keen to be singing. But when they sang, it was really difficult to hear their vocals. The previously well-balanced sound for the hosts had diminished, and although the sound quality was still fine, it seemed as though there was very little midrange, almost as though the top and bottom ends had 'gain' but that the midrange had 'volume' but no 'gain'. Hmmm, not sure whether I'm explaining myself well here, and it was certainly difficult to pinpoint the missing sound, but the result was that singers looked like they were belting it out without actually producing much 'oooomph'.

The applause was also a bit limited, though the singers were quite reasonable. The room had become quite a lot busier, now with approaching a hundred younger but well dressed and well-mannered patrons - but they seemed to be groups of friends, chatting in their own areas, rather than being there for the karaoke. The stage was centrally placed in the pub, certainly large enough to be the focus of attention, and with good and loud sound, but perhaps the layout of the rest of pub encouraged people to congregate and chat rather than pay attenton to the singer. So the singers came, performed well, and left to small and polite applause from those directly in front of the stage.

Both . . .(full story on where2sing.com)

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