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Petersham RSL @Newtown karaoke venue review on www.where2sing.com

Petersham RSL @Newtown

Salvo Idol 2004 was suddenly announced as being held at the @Newtown club in Sydney, and I dutifully trotted along...

As I wandered down the main street of Newtown, corporate signage gave way to social signage (aka graffiti), and I knew I was headed in the right direction. The venue I was seeking had been described to me as 'funky', so my expectations were a little vague. However, close to the station I espied a larger than average building sporting a luminous green sign looking like it was based on the London Underground logo, and absolutely the sort of thing that a funky venue would wear
Indeed, this was @Newtown.

The officious looking, but friendly, lady at the front desk ensured that I matched the picture on my driving licence, then pointed me up the stairs to the second floor. This is a building which has obviously received major renovations, everything appearing to be new and modern-grand, and accordingly I funked off up the stairs.

The second floor seemed to hold a large and deserted bar area, but when I wandered further into it I espied a gentleman wedged into a doorway in the far corner, and he was courteous enough to swap me a ticket for $25, and welcome me to Salvo Idol 2004.

And so I came into the auditorium for the grand occasion. High ceiling, a barrage of expensive light machines hanging from it, huge stage, ubiquitous band performing on it, middle-aged man equipped with huge mixing console at the other end of the room with precisely the demeanor that experienced sound engineers should wear, and a light operator slightly to his right with a miniature console and a light on a pole with which to play. Arran. Suddenly I realised I knew someone here - an excellent karaoke singer, and one who does visit the W2S site.

Ignoring all, I headed to the small bar at the back, and only when equipped with a suitable drink did I have a look around. With only about twenty or so people, and few of them appearing to be contenders for the award on offer, it all looked a bit deserted, but I saw Rob at about the same time that he saw me. Rob is the karaoke host of a few venues, and someone who regularly contributes to the W2S Forum - in fact you can probably count Rob in for most things.

I was to learn later that the night was the product of a chance meeting in a pub between Rob and a gentleman who, as part of some course in which he was enrolled, needed to organise a community event involving between 20 and 200 people; he only just made it.

Rob was as welcoming as Rob always is, brought me up to date on the evening's entertainment thus far, and positioned me in a chair close to a young lady who became more entertaining as the night progressed. 'Is this Sextricity?' I asked Robert. The boys from a local band of this name frequent Monday's General Gordon karaoke, notably a long haired and waif-like drummer called Will. This was the first time I had heard them play, and I was impressed by the tightness of their sound. 'Yes' replied Rob. 'Tight, aren't they?' We agreed. 'And the old guy dancing?' I asked about the bloke gyrating madly on the dance floor with steps that would impress Michael Jackson. 'Every venue's got one of those' Rob told me, wisely.

After a few more of Sextricity's own songs, it was time for the comedians, courtesy, I was told, of a local radio station. Rob had left the audience to take his proper place on stage, as host. We might agree to banish the first comedian from living memory, but the second was actually quite funny, perhaps because most of his punch lines were new to me, and his performance had a decent flow to it. He was probably a little discouraged by the response, but it's extremely difficult to giggle and laugh loudly without sounding ridiculous when there are only twenty or so of you.

And then Rob announced that it was time for the main event of the evening - Salvo Idol 2004. Indeed, a banner hung on the wall at the back of the stage with words to this effect, and I think I know the artist of this particular sign because I had seen some other of his work during my walk down the street.

The gentleman who had . . .(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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