|A Where2sing.com exclusive Karaoke Gig Review
REVIEW: Noosa Surf Club
EXCLUSIVE where2sing.com KARAOKE GIG REVIEW
It was a bit difficult to find Noose Surf Club, hiding as it was behind a thick screen of bushes, but once I'd located it, I plodded up the staircase to the main level.
This main level consists of a large room wrapped around a central bar, and there's a large deck out on the side that overlooks the beach. If you want to come and enjoy an early meal overlooking the water and then stay for the karaoke, this is the place. Actually, if you want karaoke in Noosa on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, this is the only place. (I believe that the karaoke here also runs on Mondays and Fridays during the main holiday season).
And, of course, this is the reason that I am here. I'm at the bar, and a pretty little blonde girl serves me. Actually, she just says 'yeah?' in that kind of petulant way that some youngsters think allows them to do the job for which they are being paid, but without demeaning themselves by suggesting that they are doing it as a job. I get the beer, but I don't get a 'please' or 'thank you'. Later, when I get my second beer, the same girl is to come forward and ask me: 'Yer alright there mate?' - pretty much sets the tone for the venue, doesn't it!
Food is the next task, and a similar girl gives me a similar service level. The 400g steak is tempting at $21.50, but I've mentioned before that surly bar service tends to go hand in hand with poor kitchen expertise, and so I decide on $16.50 for a Thai chicken curry and rice on the basis that it is extremely difficult to do anything bad to that, and that this is one of their 'specials'. The girl informs me snootily that the meal will be served with a spoon, so I should take any other cutlery I require, and points out that Thai curried chicken and rice is traditionally eaten with a spoon - a useful tip for those of us who thought otherwise and need to be set straight by a girl who probably didn't do enough geography at school to learn that Thailand is a country. I tell her smilingly that I am looking forward to seeing the authenticity of the meal, and she seems to be about to mention that I didn't order any kind of tea.
Indeed, I find a spare table just out on the terrace, and my meal turns up in less than ten minutes.
Which is a huge shame, as I would have happily waited a lot longer for something that was not three quarters of a bowl of rice filled up with a watery Thai-curry mixture and topped with a few chunks of rather overcooked chicken. Putting the whole mess into a tall bowl is a master-stoke of presentation, but it means that the rice is now more the consistency of chinese porridge, and the whole disaster looks and tastes as though the ingredients have been assembled cold and then microwaved for five minutes.
I am later to watch those eating steaks, and notice that they all seem to be chewing long enough to suggest the animal in question died of natural causes. But I'm going to still recommend eating here, because this is Noosa and most restaurants are grossly overpriced and undelivering, and because you can suffer the poor food whilst enjoying a great view.
One of the people I watched eating was a lage gentleman, and large in personality. He chose a table near mine, and arrived with two ladies - and a third joined them shortly afterwards. Perhaps in his early forties, he was both tall and large, and noisy. But noisy in a friendly way, and he selected the spare ribs meal with the manner of one who knows how to spot the edible in a suspect place; and so I was interested to see him consume said meal, some time later, with obvious enjoyment. Make a note - choose only the spare ribs.
About 60 people are eating meals or generally sitting around outside on the deck, and less than 20 is sitting inside and watching various sports on the various screens. There's a nice big karaoke console set up at the far end of the room, and I can see one EV speaker on a stand just in front of the console, and the other speaker at the far side of the stage which is to one side of the console. I'm desperately hoping that the karaoke will be good, but the only indication of professionalism that I can currently see is a large square banner with the large logo 'Spotlight'.
Time moves on, and the three-quarters of my meal not destined to kill me has been cleared away, and I'm sitting now inside the room because the karaoke seems about to start. The male and female hosts have been moving things around and generally looking like they're getting ready to make some noise. A family comprising a mother, a young girl with blonde hair, and her younger brother has positioned itself strategically at the front table.
The karaoke begins, and immediately I like the host. He's well-presented, energetic, and welcomes us all - even though most of his 20 or something audience is now avidly following the sports. He tells us 'tonight we'll be having some guest singers to entertain you...' - now I like that! And it seems some of those in the room like it too, because there's a general air of expectation of quality singers. On the audience's monitor I'm now reading three screens that welcome me, tell me that if I'm a singer that I'm invited to come up and sing a song, and then simple instructions on how to do this. Note - not if I'd like to have a go at singing. Here is a host putting out a simple message: If you are a singer, then please come up and entertain.
The lady co-host sings the first song, but not before the host explains that they are each going to sing a song in order that he can ensure the sound is correctly set, and indeed as she sings, he is walking around listening to the levels (including going on stage to listen to the foldback), and he does make some noticeable adjustments. He also sings, adjusts something more, and at the end announces that the sound needed only slight adjustment but that everything is now ready.
But having no singers yet means they must sing again, and so I put in a songslip and am the first from amongst the audience to sing. Even though most is still watching the sports, the hosts succeeds in getting everyone to applaud my ascent to the stage, and that sets the general expectation of applause for the night.
The sound is good, very good. I can hear the general FOH mix due to the intelligent positioning of the speakers, and the foldback gives me what seems like a perfect fill-in. There's heaps of roundness to the sound, but with excellent clarity - the system doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary, but the quality would be among the best I've experenced (including that from systems much larger than this).
And then the young girl sings - the one from the family up the front - and as soon as she's up on stage, the little boy rushes out to the pokie area to tell his mum to come and watch. The girl would be only about twelve, thin and blonde, and sings with a really nice voice but so quietly that it is difficult to . . .(full story on where2sing.com)
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