www.where2sing.comGo to the full karaoke website of Where2sing.com  
A Where2sing.com exclusive Karaoke Gig Review

Lismore Workers Golf Club karaoke venue review on www.where2sing.com

REVIEW: Lismore Workers Club


I looked at my map and saw Ballina on the NSW north coast, and I looked at the W2S Gig Listings and saw nothing for Saturdays in that area. But, undaunted and feeling sure I'd find some karaoke when I arrived, I set off. It was a pleasant drive down from the Gold Coast, and indeed Ballina is a lovely little place.

The lady at the Tourist Information Centre was extremely helpful and great fun, but even she, and a quick drive around the town, couldn't help me; the W2S listings were correct - nothing for Saturdays. So back to the W2S listings, and the closest karaoke was at Lismore - about 20 minutes away. So off I went to Lismore, called the venue to check, and found myself somewhere to stay.

Lismore is friendly. When I mentioned my interest in karaoke, the accommodation manager sent another guest along to give me his local information - which provided me with a couple of new places to list, but strangly included the information that there was nothing on tonight, and so I was happy to enlighten him.

Lismore has two Workers' Clubs, possibly in disproportion to the number of locals currently employed - one club being near the centre and holding karaoke on Fridays, and the other being the Lismore Workers' Golf Club, slightly out of town, and holding karaoke on Saturdays (tonight).

It's perched on the side of a low hill, with a big carpark right in front, and the building is one of those with most of the entertainment area upstairs. I walked into a bright, modern and large room, and immediately I was struck by the karaoke setup. In contract to many, this operator was set up well ahead of time, his stage area nicely decorated and presented for his 'Search for a Star' talent quest - and he was rewarded by the already fifty or so attendees arranging their table seating to afford them all a good veiw of the stage.

In the centre of the stage was the singer's monitor, draped in a black cloth, and I could just see the foldback speaker behind it. And at the rear of the stage was a large black backdrop studded with stars, with the 'Search for a Star' banner, and another banner advertising a major sponsor, Choppers, the local record store (with 3 local branches). To the right of the stage was a large board advertising the host, and giving the phone number and the name of the person to call for bookings. All very professional.

At the side of the stage closer to me, and on my left, was a single Yamaha speaker set nicely high on its stand, and I cast my eyes to the other side of the stage to see its companion. No speaker there. The stage is set into the corner of the room, a particularly good position for sound because it allows for a speaker either side of the stage, and for the sound to properly fill the room. But, as my eyes travelled slowly along the blank side wall of the room, I came upon the hosting console neatly set up and again draped in a large black cloth, and only then did I see the missing speaker set high on another stand, but well on the far side of the console, and pushed forward somewhat. Now that is very strange speaker positioning.

A tall, slim, mature gentleman, smartly dressed in black, was standing behind the console next to a lady who was obviously going to be the techie. The gentleman was engaged in conversation, but soon walked to the stage with another gentleman, inspected the banners, and turned on the ground-positioned colourful whirly-bird. Yep, we looked all set for karaoke.

I hadn't expected a competition - indeed, I hadn't expected anything other than very ordinary RSL-type karaoke - so I decided I was here to stay for the evening. My beer from the bar had continued my experience of friendly locals (some towns are friendly, and other are decidedly unfriendly), and I progressed to the servery beside the bar to order a chinese meal for less than $15. Then back to my prime position table to await the entertainment and my food.

My food arrived first, though certainly not hurriedly, and I was amused that the only cutlery privided was two spoons (perhaps the Chinese western equivalent of a pair of chopsticks?). The food was of reasonable quality, and generous in size, and I'd recommend eating here. Towards the end of my meal, and just a little after the allotted start time, the host stepped into the space between his expectant audience and the stage, and did a truly excellent job of welcoming everybody, introducing the three lady judges who had been seated at a separate table in front of the audience and facing the stage, explaining the competition rules and process ('there are 8 heats, 2 semi-finals and a grand final that's going to be held in the auditorium down at Lismore Workers, and although this is heat 1, we've already filled heats 1, 2, 3 and 4 with singers, so we're now taking bookings for heats 5, 6 7 and 8 if you know anyone who should enter, and we're going to take three winners from each heat, so that means we'll take 3 from heats 1, 3 from heat 2, and from 3 and 4 and they'll go to the first semi-final, and then the 3 winners from each of the other heats, that's 5, 6, 7 and 8 will go to the second semis, so that means we'll hve 12 people in each of the semis plus maybe a wildcard entry so we may have 13, and that will give us 12 people for the grand final held in the auditorium and Lismore Workers Club is putting up a very generous $1,500 first prize for the winner' - did you understand all that?), and generally setting the scene for the night. I was ready.

The room was now pretty full, perhaps 120 people in this bar alone, and many of them had been eating. The host gave us a warm-up song on the pretence that this was necessary for checking the mics, and to be fair to him he did it competently - if perhaps not being the most enthralling of singers. The first girl onto the stage was standard 'Australian Idol' wannabe fare - young, slim, pretty, standard comp-chaser song, slightly nervous and timid but enticingly so, and with the normal slightly unconvincing and vague hand movements. But there's something quite alluring in this kind of young 'Australian Idol' wannabe, and she sang as one who has practiced her song and hand movements constantly in front of the mirror, and so she received what was going to be the standard measure of applause.

I had finished my meal, it had been cleared away, and I got my second beer. On returning to my seat, I decided it was unfair of me to hog a complete table set for four, so I chose instead the neighbouring table and asked a large gentleman whether I might share with him. His answer suggested he was going to be a fun companion.

A family had been seated in front of me from the time I first chose my table, and it looked like dad, mum, grandma, a hanger on, a late teenage male relative, and in the seats in front I could see the little girl and a mid-teenage boy but of approximately adult size; it was this boy, by his very manner, whom I anticipated would be a keen contestant. And so, when the first girl had done her two songs, been appraised by the judges in a remarkably upbeat and non-Idol manner, the host announced that the second (of eight contestants for this night) would be a regular at the venue called Jesse, and the mid-teenage boy got up keenly and headed for the stage.

Now this was a practised performance, the modern version of Elton John's 'Your Song', and then a slightly more up-beat Robbie Williams, both done with elaborate but gentle and slightly awkward hand waving - though nonetheless sung well. What really marked him apart was the distance at which he held the mic, because often he held the mic at nearly arms' length and not because he had a particulaly powerful voice - and I wondered how on earth the host was managing to sustain the barely sufficient volume without getting feedback. I then remembered thinking the previous girl's mic volume was right but that the overall sound was rather thin, and indeed now the whole sound was a little lacking - a lot of mid range and not much else. But Jesse's two songs went well, and the three lady judges were seduced, going as far as to ask him how old he was, and feigning unnececesary admiration that a boy of fifteen could hold a tune. Hey, he was obviously going to win points on 'cute factor' alone, but he was hardly the next big vocal talent, and many youngsters . . .(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 . . .

KARAOKE in Australia

You've found the #1 website with the original and biggest karaoke gig listings database listing nearly 1,000 gigs across all states of Australia - each listing with full venue name, address, phone number plus extensive information about the gig itself. Read feedback from singers who have already visited the venue, and see information such as songlist size, crowd size, type of singer and even how much applause you can expect when you visit each gig.

Or visit the forums where both singers and hosts meet and chat - including State-chat forums where you can make friends whom you'll meet up with at a venue near you.

And there are the Gig Reviews, the constantly updated 'National Top 10 Karaoke Venues' chart, specialised lists of venues for Under 18s and currently running Competitions, lists for karaoke rooms, restaurants, karaoke hosts and supplliers, and karaoke news from all around the workd.

Of course, the best way to keep up to date is by opting in for the FREE weekly Karaoke News Email.