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A Where2sing.com exclusive Karaoke Gig Review

The Beach House Pub karaoke venue review on www.where2sing.com

REVIEW: Beach House Pub


If I said that I'd seen a KJ do almost all of his hosting with his back towards the audience, would you think I was exaggerating? And if I said that the same host took nearly a complete track to sort out the next singer almost every time, would you think I am joking?

I'd just left what had turned out to be a rather good karaoke at the Grand Hotel, Labrador on the Gold Coast on this Monday night in order to have a look at the Beach House Pub right in the centre of Surfers. Silly move.

Having parked, I walked the short distance to the pub, and, approaching it from the other side of the road, I decided it would be a great idea to photograph it before going in. Bad decision. On the other side of the road, squarely in front of the entrance, stood a security guy and another unsmiling gentleman watching me suspiciously. After taking a couple of what I considered discrete photos, I walked across the road to the pub entrance, and we exchanged a 'hello'. 'This looks like the welcoming committee' I said, wondering what they were thinking. 'We were just watching you photographing the place' said the one who wasn't the security guy, and without a smile, and it turned out that he was the manager, Steve.

I could hear the karaoke, and it was being held halfway through the long bar, next to where the central serving bar was located. I even recognised the singer, a guy called Dean whom I had met and chatted with at a previous local karaoke.

The setup was good, a large square banner proclaiming karaoke was attached to a metal frame and positioned at a slight angle in a corner, and with the singer's monitor just in front. The host's console was set up on the wall side of this, in a position not too hard for singers to reach, and with all the equipment open to sight. And the equipment was well organised - a neat looking system, and all the discs in one small suitcase, the lid open and holding an 8-to-a-view business card wallet into which song request slips were being inserted in order. Very neat.

The sound was being fed through the inhouse system, so a myriad of ceiling mounted speakers throughout the venue gave a great uniformity of sound no matter where in the bar you were standing. On the other hand, the quality was fairly ordinary, as this system was obviously designed for background music rather than a live performer.

But the real problem with this setup was that the host could choose to work with his back to his audience - so all we really saw was the back of a thin young man. Not impressive. And even his banter was cursory and half-hearted, and in consequence there wasn't much applause.

And his other problem was organisation. Sure, everything had been neatly set up by the company for which he worked, but this didn't mean he actually needed to use it. Dean finished his song, the back of the host told us 'that was Dean' or 'give it up for Dean' or something banale like that, and three or four of us applauded. And then there was background music.

The host fiddled about in his box, pondered over which disc to select, pulled out one and stuck it back, pulled out another, looked at some song request slips in the neat plastic wallet, then lazily inserted a disc into the player, and in time started to sing. Now, this host is a reasonable singer, but there was a heck of a wait before he finally started singing with his back to the audience, and it was a little later that he deigned to turn around and sing to us. Needless to say, he received zero applause for his song, and I suspect in recognition of his discourtesy.

After his song, we again listened to fill-in music while he idly flipped his business-card wallet, perhaps deciding on who would sing next (wouldn't it just be the next request slip in order?), mused over where in the suitcase he might find the disc, stopped to chat to a girl who wanted to hand him a request slip, slowly found a slot for the slip and finished his conversation with the girl, then finally found a disc and inserted it into the . . .(full story on where2sing.com)

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