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A Where2sing.com exclusive Karaoke Gig Review

Maroochydore Surf Lifesaving Club karaoke venue review on www.where2sing.com

REVIEW: A Surf Lifesaving Club


I'd seen this host in Noosa producing one of the best all round karaoke shows in Australia, and so I stayed on another day in Maroochydore on Queensland's Sunshine Coast to see this host again in a different location. I knew they would still be doing a show back in Noosa on this night, so I wondered how things would go with the same equipment but perhaps a different host.

Maroochydore Surf Lifesaving Club is, as they normally are, right on the sea - and boasts a long heritage. A short walk from where I was staying, and there was no sound of karaoke as I approached the main entrance, and even only the faint sound of music as I walked up the stairs. But as I reached the top I could hear the karaoke, and finally I could see it all the way down the other end of the long room.

The social area of the club is all on one level, and the stairs arrive on the first floor next to the pokie area. Progressing along, there's a large restaurant area, and then the main bar with a rectangular piece cut out of this particular section that was accommodating the karaoke, but which could be closed off with glass doors. The serving bar is opposite this wooden-floored section, and the layout of the whole place makes for good choices about how loud you want the karaoke to be.

I stood with a beer next to the bar and faced the karaoke. The back wall of the karaoke area (behind the singer), and indeed the back wall of the whole building, is floor to ceiling windows overlooking the beach. On this night there's a full moon, and so watching the singers means also watching a backdrop of moonlit waves on an empty beach. Quite a backdrop!

The hosting company, as I mentioned, was one that I had seen a couple of nights earlier, though in this case it was just the lady co-host who was now doing everything, and the discs seemed to be used in a player rather than run though a computer system. The sound was good and clear, but rather quiet.

The host's console was set up to one side of the stage, and the lady was sufficiently organised that she would step from behind the console up to the stage to announce the next singer - then back again in time to start the disc just as the singer was ready. Her whole demeanour was of one highly organised person, and it did mean that the karaoke flowed really well.

There would have been about thirty people sitting and watching in the immediate vicinity of the karaoke, another thirty further along and around the bar, and at least another thirty sitting in the restaurant area and finishing off meals or just chatting. I didn't think the sound needed to be that quiet so as not to disturb those eating, but I noticed that the lady host didn't once come out and check the FOH levels, so perhaps she was unaware of its quietness. Indeed, the vocals were way too quiet, but singers seemed to be singing rather softly which made me suspect that the foldback I could see sitting on the corner of the stage was out of balance and perhaps way too loud. Certainly, although the speaker placement was good with one in front of the console and another of the other side of the stage, it would have been the foldback providing the bulk of the volume for both singer and host.

The singers were obviously just local social singers, because there was no one who was going to set the world on fire, but neither was anyone really bad. I think a lot of this had to do with the excellent quality of sound, and the way that the vocals were set down into the backing, but there were a couple of guys with bigger voices who managed to get their songs across with more volume.

One of these was an older guy with an average voice but with an ability to choose the right song to get the table of girls up and dancing, and with the appropriate hand clapping to get them all clapping. In fact, this group of girls was the entertainment of the night, and all eyes were on them. There was also a matching group of guys, and at one point there were five girls up on stage singing something rather as you'd imagine 5 girls without much singing talent would sing, and a group of 5 young guys standing in the middle . . .(full story on where2sing.com)

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