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Singalong city

Karaoke has gained currency as the cool thing to do. You exercise your vocal chords, meet new people and get a great alternative to clubbing.

music Updated: May 16, 2012 14:43 IST
Nivriti Butalia

Karaoke has gained currency as the cool thing to do. You exercise your vocal chords, meet new people and get a great alternative to clubbing.

An evening at a karaoke bar also helps dispel a few notions. Notion 1: when you ask people to sing, they automatically say bad throat. Notion two: Stage fright is more common than a cold. Notion three: People prefer to pass the mike to the next guinea pig rather than belt a number themselves.

Take, for instance, One Café Bar behind the Select CityWalk mall in Saket. They claim to serve only mineral water, not regular (go fight it out), and charges a Rs 500 cover for a karaoke night. But but look past that and you’re in for a good time. The place is brimming with young skeletons yelling into the mike, as soulfully as possible, the Chumbawumba anthem: ‘I get knocked down but I get up again’.

Two years ago, karaoke in Delhi was restricted to one night a week at Bennigan’s. Today there are several options to suit different tastes.

So while on ‘Karaoke Tuesdays’ at Turquoise Cottage at Adchini, the ‘rocker-lawyer-professional-crowd’ boos you for picking an Avril Lavigne number, nobody at One Café Bar minds if you do a bad rendition of ‘Skater Boi or even, ahem, the ‘Amplifier’ song.

Karaoke Jocks — as in Radio Jock, Video Jock — set the ball rolling, sing the first few numbers and ask, who’s next. You, in the audience, get a spiral bound song book from which you can chose from more than 10,000 songs – anything from Englebert Humperdink to the Punjabi version of ‘Oh Carol’.

Radhika Shankar, a 30-something K-jock, likes to think she pioneered the “karaoke movement” in Delhi two years ago with her then partner Manish Gunthe. While Gunthe now provides live entertainment at different venues on different days, Shankar, with her now jock-mate Marshall Mathias, anchors the show a few nights a week. And judging by the audience on a Wednesday night, they really get the crowd up on their feet and singing.

Karaoke nights are a god-send for people with bad throats and excuses. The best part: you don’t have to be able to hold a note. Just that if you can, the claps are louder.