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Chardons Corner Hotel karaoke venue review on www.where2sing.com

REVIEW: Chardons Corner Hotel


Heading outbound, south of Brisbane city, and on the old Ipswich Road, you pass Annerley and come to rest at some traffic lights about a kilometre later and at the top of a long hill; and this is called Chardons Corner.

All along Ipswich Road are strewn scruffy outer Brisbane suburbs, old weatherboard houses and shops, age-old banks and discount stores side by side, the odd new and inconguous McDonalds and KFC occasionally muscling in, and Chardons Corner is no exception. It can be described in one word: Scruffy.

As you wait at the top of the hill for the lights to change, you are looking directly at the Chardons Corner Hotel, occupying a corner plot and slightly in your way because of a little deviation in the road, broad steps leading up to wide glass doors, and a generally 1960s Queensland pub style. The original design of the building may have won no awards, but through the years pieces have extended the pub sideways and obviously upwards, and done nothing to enhance the aesthetics of the place.

But this matters little to the karaoker, and the most attractive part - indeed, alluring - of the pub is a huge banner down the side that proclaims karaoke on a Wednesday. At 7pm.

It was a little after 7 that I parked in the side street, and wandered in the wide glass doors. There is another bar around the side, I seem to remember called the Lounge and where you can get excellent and excellently priced meals at lunchtimes, and which also holds the bank of pokie machines - but the main bar is the one in which I am now standing.

This is a workers pub, unimaginative decor and layout, a long bar at one side of the room, and high tables and stools scattered around the place. Relics of past promotions in the way of machines you can spin or otherwise utilise are pushed into corners, and the whole atmosphere is of a place in which you come to have a well-earned coldie at the end of a stenuous working day. The faces are well worn, the conversation punctuated with 'mate' at every second word, and the average age no less than that found in a retirement home. And, although the place has a reputation for the occasional roughness, the words spoken are genuinely kindly, the service friendly and quick, and the people easy to engage in conversation.

On a Wednesday, this is the place in which Kristy, who is Aussie ROck Karaoke, sets up business and invites all to step up to the little stage and sing. Several years may have passed while Kristy has been hosting karaoke, but she seems to have lost none of her enthusiasm or energy, and she does not sit long behind the console.

Her setup is simple, but appropriate. The small stage has a single microphone stand, a small monitor tucked slightly to one side and draped with the normal black cloth, a large projection screen behind the singer, and Kristy with her gear to one side of the stage. The speakers are Yamaha and good, and the lights are just enough to denote karaoke. Almost unnoticed, a little foldback speaker sits on the corner of the stage.

'I really admire these ladies' said Phil, a gentleman with whom I was having a conversation and who was perched on the other stool at the table, 'getting up and singing' he stated. 'I'm going to go home and learn some songs' he declared. Phil is staying in a motel just down the road, and in going for a walk he came across the karaoke. 'It's great entertainment' he tells me enthusiastically.

And indeed, the ladies from the next table were being called in turn to sing. I believe they come all the way from Ipswich, quite some way down the road, as I think I recognise them from the last time I was here, well over a year ago. 'They follow me around many of my venues' Kristy was to tell me later. The ladies were all beautifully dressed for the occasion, occasionally getting up to dance when one of their number was singing.

There was space enough for dancing, . . .(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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