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A Where2sing.com exclusive Karaoke Gig Review

Newnham Hotel karaoke venue review on www.where2sing.com

REVIEW: The Newnham Hotel


Some karaoke gigs attract a very small crowd, and are shown in the where2sing.com listings as '10-30 people'. Is this because no one locally is interested in karaoke, because the venue doesn't promote it, or because the host isn't able to build a larger crowd? There are all questions that interest me.

The Newnham Hotel is large enough to include 'and Function Centre' in its signs. Driving along Newnham Road, Mansfield, a southern suburb of Brisbane, it's certainly easy enough to see. There's a generous sized carpark, although it does seem rather empty. I walk in through what's obviously the outside Bistro, and it also seems deserted. Ahead of me are two bars, one on a higher level than the other, and these are also deserted. It's only just after 8pm, so it's not exactly late in the evening. I choose to enter the lower bar, and once inside I can hear the music, so I follow it through the upper bar and around a corner into the large area on the other side.

At least I've arrived at the place where all the people are gathered for the karaoke, though this is really just a crowd of about twenty, tops. A schooner of beer is $3.80, and the lady serving is very friendly.

The music is quite loud. The room is divided into two sections, the one for gambling on the right, and the other housing the karaoke and the pool tables on the left. Two good sized speakers are up on stands, one of them is some way forward of the singer and along the dividing wall, and the other speaker is on the far side of the hosting console - which is set back behind the singer and to one side. Behind the singer, and high up, is a large screen, and in front of the singer is a neat floor-standing unit housing the foldback and the singer's monitor.

It's a neat setup, and this host obviously pays attention to detail, as she has decorated her console with large motifs of musical notes, and her mobile number is on the front of both the console and the singer's monitor. I can't, when I first come in, see the host - but at the end of the song she gets up from her place at a table amongst some of the singers, and makes it to the console just before the song finishes.

The group of singers with whom she has been sitting is dead straight in front of the karaoke, though back far enough to be close to the bar, and seated at five tall, round tables that have been moved into a line. Here are seated perhaps eight people - obvously the karaoke regulars. The others in the room are playing pool, or gambling, or me.

I sit at a table on the side, conspicuous as neither a pool player, gambler, or in the karaoke crowd. I can't see any songbooks, and if I were new to karaoke I guess I'd have no idea that I'd be welcome to sing.

The singers are obviously locals, just there for a bit of fun, and the good singer amongst them is the host. She sings, and I realise later that she is singing at the start of each rotation. Other than singing, she sits with the group and chats.

There's nothing remarkable about the karaoke, or about the singers, but nothing really negative either. The host has a friendly and fun line of banter, and the karaoke crowd of eight or so seems like a little family. One of them floats off to play pool, and is quite quick-witted with his comments. There's a bit of laughter, . . .(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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