|A Where2sing.com exclusive Karaoke Gig Review
Newington Inn Hotel
The Newington Hall Inn at Petersham is a box-like building on the side of a busy road, the outside of the structure not giving much away about what's inside...
But as soon as you walk through the door, you're in the small area in which karaoke in held.
Intimate is the word here, because the four high round tables and chairs would accommodate about twenty people at a squeeze.Â To the left side of the almost unbelievably tiny stage is a sofa and some other comfortable and low seating, sufficient for perhaps another half dozen bodies.
And the karaoke itself is a small console on the other side of the 'stage', a large rear-projection screen is pushed into the corner of the room, one speaker directly is behind the 'stage', and another just in front of the mixing console.Â Got the idea?Â Good - now just imagine all that I've described packed into a really small, err intimate, area.Â Oh, the stage?Â That's got to be the smallest one I've ever seen - I didn't actually get out my desk ruler, but I doubt it would be more than about half a metre deep by a metre wide, and surprisingly high at perhaps half a metre.Â A bit like the sort of thing an elephant would stand on in a circus.
On that particular night there were about half a dozen people there, and as I wandered into the area with a beer in hand, I felt I was joining a little party.Â The girl running the karaoke looked familiar, one of the All About Entertainment team, and the equipment looked like their normal system - adequate.Â The speakers were big enough for the area, and there was a light thingy doing its stuff in the corner.Â The songlists were also their standard issue - the remnants of battles with beer and food gracing the covers, and even some of the covers looking like they had been partially eaten.Â
I watched while two of the assembled group sang, both rather quietly, and I formed the impression that this karaoke didn't attract roving karaoke goers.Â And why would it - quiet sound, minuscule stage, and an audience that you could count on the fingers of one hand.
So off I went to look around the hotel.Â Everything appeared to have been quite recently decorated, a pleasant decor with enough to keep your interest as you gazed around, the areas divided up into neat little sections.Â From the entrance area in which the karaoke was happening, I skirted the central serving bar, walked across what would be considered to be the main bar, and out of the building into a covered courtyard.Â Several small groups were sitting at bench seats and tables, eating, and as I turned I could see the outside eatery and kitchen, everything looking very well organised.Â In fact, this looks like the place I'd choose for a really good steak, because some very tempting cuts of meat were displayed ready to be selected, and there was a notice explained that the prices had increased slightly - due to the drought, and instead of reducing the quality.Â I was just reading the blackboard and being amused by an item called 'the mousetrap' (up-market cheese on toast) when a delightful young lady said hello and asked very politely whether I'd like to eat.Â I thanked her and told her no, but I was struck by her charming manner which seemed to represent the general friendliness and courtesy of the staff.Â (read: well trained).
Inside again, I walked back around skirting the bar, past the karaoke again, through a small hallway and into a large raised room in which families with young children were . . .(full story on where2sing.com)
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