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Macquarie Hotel karaoke venue review on www.where2sing.com

Macquarie Hotel

I need to write a little preamble for this review, as the Macquarie was a wonderful little place that I first visited over a year ago, and which fast became my favourite Friday night haunt.

The building itself is just a couple of blocks out of the centre of Sydney, so it's in easy walking distance of just about anywhere. It's also at the junction of half a dozen streets, and you tend to find yourself automatically at this place when you walk in its general direction. But, although the hotel is easy to find, the karaoke may not be.
I gave up the first time, but when in the basement toilets heard the unmistakable sound of karaoke coming through the pipes. I headed up, up the staircase to the bar, then again further up the winding staircase to the upstairs bar - and there was the karaoke - so, if you've just walked in from the road, seek out the staircase and head up it. At the top of these stairs you could turn left into the small (and excellent) Thai restaurant, but you can also see the karaoke through the glass panels on the right, and thus you'll of course head through the small pool room and into the main karaoke bar.

The serving bar is at one end, and the karaoke stage at the other. It's a recently redecorated older bar, one of those that is pleasing to the eye, and pretty much what I'd expect to be otherwise used as a function room. Unfortunately, the barstaff have a culture of innefficiency and delay, so when you can count more that 3 people at the bar you're well advised to head back downstairs to the bottom bar. Should you hang in there upstairs awaiting a beer, you'll often see a sort of panic as the staff run around trying to find everything for your drink, nothing being easily to hand, and the resultant service can be somewhat surly and ungrateful. There've even been many times when the beer has run out, so your long wait is rewarded with an even longer wait for more beer o be brought up. Of course this can depend on who is serving you, and when first there, a year or so ago, I found the bar to be run by a charming gentleman who was both courteous and efficient, but for some months this bar seems to be the 'Siberia' to whence the least-skilled of the Macquarie's girls are dispatched.

I have seen great Thai meals being carried around the room to various patrons, and although I've never ordered a meal, they do look and smell great. The room has small high round tables, and appropriately high stools, plus many other great 'leaning' spots. It's just well set out of karaoke.

Now, onto the report of the latest developments...

Ahh, the Macquarie Hotel... Followers of David's newsletters and website reviews may remember the Macquarie Hotel as being Sydney's best undiscovered karaoke venue.

At its prime, the Macquarie was the home to a small but loyal crowd and to an enthusiastic host. Elliot was one of those guys whom when you first met, you felt a little embarrased because you clearly had known each other for years, such was his charm and clearly your bad memory.

His soound equipment was modest (working for another guy will do that) as was his song list (see people's exhibit A), but you always seemed to have a good time. The other huge plus was that it was so conveniently located. You could roll out the door at midnight on a Friday and either head home (short walk to Central or to bus routes) or more likely turn to your friends and say 'where to now?' Then Elliot had to take a break from hosting and we saw a line-up of substitute hosts roll in through one door and out through the other, along with your memory of why you loved this place so much.

The loyal crowd left due to poor sound, and therefore the place bustled only when a group of people decided to stumble in and have a bit of a go. I heard from a friend of mine recently that the Macquarie Hotel had said it's last goodbye to karaoke, and it seemed as though the great little Friday night venue had died without every really getting off the ground.

Ahh, but it seemed that someone had their fingers on the pulse for the corpse had not been an organ donation bank for long before Elliot swooped back from Forbes (or Parkes or somewhere like that out in the back of beyond [© David K]) and took it upon himself to give this decaying corpse a big wet tonguey. (Yeah, yeah, you call it mouth to mouth resuscitation, but you're not supposed to have that much fun doing it...) Some may be aware that before leaving us Sydney-siders, he moonlit over at the Orchard Tavern in Chatswood and while he performed with distinction, his equipment and songlist was good and the sound commendable, he faced stern competition from Chatswood RSL which . . .(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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