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A Where2sing.com exclusive Karaoke Gig Review

Coffs Harbour Hotel karaoke venue review on www.where2sing.com

Coffs Harbour Hotel

I've formed the opinion that a good karaoke experience rests on there being an interesting and thus entertaining mixture of singers - the good, the bad and the ugly.

Unadulterated bad just doesn't make for an exciting karaoke night in my view, and indeed, an endless parade of great singers is just as uninteresting.
Some venues seem to have set out to attract just one type of singer, and inevitably get just that one kind of singer as the audience. This means that you may indeed find a venue with great singers, but the audience will be similarly of those awaiting their turn to sing and demonstrate their prowess, and thus be necessarily limited to about twenty bodies.

The type of singer that a venue attracts may also be dependent on some other factors, such as the location or profile of the venue. Yet I often wonder whether the host, or the venue, has actually thought about how the karaoke show will be presented, and what type of entertainment, and therefore audience, they wish to attract.

After Adelaide, and the really surprisingly high quality of singers, I drove northwest, pausing in Broken Hill, failing to find the promised karaoke in Dubbo, and was therefore really ready for Thursday night karaoke when I reached Coffs Harbour. This is a coastal town, but more the sort through which you pass than being a holiday destination, and I was hopeful of a mixed clientele at the Coffs Harbour Hotel - or 'Hotel Coffs Harbour' as it optimistically presented its name.

It's easy to find - just drive along the main road that runs through the town, and you'll see the sprawling Coffs Harbour Hotel on a corner. It looks as though it's been the victim of various design aspirations through several years, and it's interesting when you walk through one of the many entrance doors to find that it has recently decided to be an Irish pub.

You may be getting used to the proliferation of expensively renovated theme pubs around our bigger cities, and, not to be outdone, Coffs Harbour has wedged all manner of vaguely Irish and definitely secondhand objects around a sprawling and somewhat tatty establishment and called it 'Irish'. But tat and mismatch do not 'Irish' make, and the theme fails. Not, I think, that anyone could care less, because this appears to be a 'local' pub with a clientele there for reasons other than the decor.

But, for the exercise, let me take you on a tour: You walk in through one of the doors near the street corner, and you're in the main bar, probably a couple of rooms (judging by the differing floor levels) knocked into one, in which the serving bar takes up a large amount of space in the centre, and features a delightful girl who spends her night walking around all four sides in keeping up with her customers. This is the bar in which the karaoke will be held, it being set up in a kind of alcove in the far lefthand corner, in an area that looks like a small entertainment area, and which has a semi-circular lighting gantry in the celing, adorned with some quite powerful looking lights (and speakers that will act as foldback). But, in the far righthand area, you have a choice of about three exits, and if you take the middle one you find yourself in the centre of the extensive building, almost in a covered courtyard. This looks like an outside dining area if ever the place were to fill with several hundred people, and right at the back of this area is an old brewery truck, in unrestored state but presented as an ornamont and wearing a 'Do Not Climb On Truck' sign. It's surrounded by a neat fence that enhances its 'decoration' status, but looks rather like a relic left there by laziness than by design.

If you were to turn right and head back to the main bar, you would go back through another small dining/drinking partly undercover area and soon be back in the main bar, but turn left and you find yourself in another decent sized room with a stage - surprisingly not where the karaoke is going to be held. Anyway, there's no one in this room. Go a bit futher, and you seem to be in a kind of hotel lobby, and beyond that a hotel restaurant, deserted apart from a gentleman reading a paper (probably the waiter).

If you're starting to feel lost, then so was I. But all roads seem to lead back to the centre of the building, and thus back to yet another small room just off the main bar and then back to the main bar, and that's where I found myself when the karaoke started.

There was a slim, long blonde-haired girl sitting by herself at a table near the karaoke, songbook next to her, and obviously waiting her turn. She looked as though she'd dressed for the night, as had a couple of others around the bar, though the twenty of so poeple were somewhat insignificant in a bar this size.

The karaoke started, . . .(full story on where2sing.com)

Read the rest of this exclusive Karaoke Gig Review, and find whether this karaoke gig is still running on Where2sing.com . . .

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