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From the Where2sing.com stories:
The Great Karaoke Escape 2004/05

DAY 13

Last night at Shenannigans went well, got there at about the time that the karaoke should start and therefore was well early for when it did start. Arrived only a couple of minutes before Randy & Kath. We secured some stools near a section of bar that wasn't really being used, and had a great view of the stage.

Without covering too much of what is in the review of this venue, the karaoke setup was good, the hosting was fine, and it certainly attracts a lot of people (remember that this is a Monday!). I also have a liking for Irish pubs - they have decent beer...

Also got to meet the SBS Adelaide heat winner, Peter, and heard him sing. He wasn't someone who moved around a lot, though he had a good voice, and I suppose I was a bit suprised that he won, considering I heard some far better singers and performers whilst in Adelaide (though I don't know if they entered the comp).

Peter was sitting at the end of the room with a girl, and didn't seem phased when I want across and started questioning him. He said the talent at the auditions wasn't great, so he wasn't particularly surprised to get picked for the filming, though it was so long before he got a phone call that he was a bit surprised when the phone call actually came.

The filming was apparently a marathon effort, with many re-takes of the host and of non singing sequences, but - apart from a warm up (not in front of the crowd) - the singers got one take only. But he was really surprised to hear on the following week's show that he was the heat winner, because no one from SBS had called him to let him know, and no one from SBS has called him since. And he'd be thrilled (in a very low-key 'Peter' way) to win the grand final, but would be more enthusiastic if the prize were a recording contract. I forget what he said he does for a living, but he'd love to be a professional singer.

We talked for about fifteen minutes, and he answered all my questions with seeming honesty. Strange - he never asked who I was.

Anyway, it's a beautiful morning in Adelaide today, but I'm off tracking across to northen NSW, and guessing I won't find any karaoke for the next day or two. So, north to Port Augusta - happened not to be as exciting a place a it appeared to be on the map (and a bloody sight further away than I'd guessed!), then right a bit to Quorn to see the railway (the train wasn't there), then north-west by mistake for an hour and therefore a long run around towards the west and finally onto the road to Broken Hill.

Surprisingly, Broken Hill seems to be a well kept town, and plenty of pubs, but nothing really happening on a Tuesday night. The Musicians' Club has karaoke on a Saturday, but that's too long in a one horse (but 12 pub) town for me to wait, so spent the night in the local bar arguing Thatcherism and macro economics with a trade union agitator (sorry, negotiator) who had come to frighten a few people into becoming members.

I had stopped in the bar mainly because the barmaid was a friendly type, and had suggested a couple of place in town to me that may have held a bit of nightlife, but didn't, and so I returned to this particular pub to settle down for a night of bar chat. The barmaid was delightful, but quickly turned out to be a natural blonde...

The conversation with my 'brother' from the trade union took an interesting turn when I asked his opinion on the thug Yasser Arafat (who was in the lengthy process of dying, and very much in the news), and on the basis that he claimed to have met Arafat for as long as it took to shake his hand, in France, and some years ago, that the man was an honourable gentleman and much misunderstood. Fortunately others who misunderstood him are understood not to be around any more to tell the tale.
Apparently my view that there must be a balance between the need of a company to turn a profit for its shareholders, and the inancial and social needs of those working in these companies, labelled me as a 'neo-liberal'. I suggested 'realist' might be more appropriate, but I now understand that those who engage in making money are actually scoundrels, taking unfair advantage of those who don't own companies or businesses and who merely desire a weekly wage, and my suggestion that, without employers, that there might just not be any employees, was greeted with derision. I could see we were just about to launch into a monologue entitled 'come the revolution, brother...' so I left for bed. Anyway, it was 1am.

Spending the night in a place without karaoke reminds me what life used to be like before I started to hang out in karaoke places. I also reminds me that it must be really difficult for those in rural areas to find karaoke, but it's too late for me to ponder this any more. Time for sleep...

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