There are many stereotypes of Japanese people, one is that they love their karaoke. Going by the number of karaoke bars around here, this is true. They are everywhere in cities and large towns, sometimes there are as many as two or three on a single street. It’s almost as bad as the abundance of GAME stores in the UK.
Karaoke bars don’t have the same set up as in Britain, drunken humiliation in front of strangers is not as popular with the Japanese as it seems to be with Brits. So groups of people go into private booths and sing their heart out with their friends, rather than on a stage to a crowd of randoms.
The more often I go to these places, the more I find my level with quite what song I can get away with. I say “get away with” rather than sing because I really can’t. I broke my karaoke cherry singing Poison by Alice Cooper and that is about the only kind of song I can do. If I try to do any song that requires anything other than a low gravely growl it just sounds horrid. Really horrid. Dirty Diana is out of window and woe betide anyone who hears me sing anything by Queen.
Good Old Fashioned Loverboy was such a disaster and you will by surprised quite how bad a choice Debaser was.
Luckily there are a great amount of songs which are now on Shaun’s Karaoke Hit List. Songs such as Fuel, Hungry Like The Wolf and my magnum opus, I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing. Usually my tactics are to go for a few of these bankers and then go for a few untried experiments. At the moment I am interested in trying out I’ve Just Seen A Face and maybe Mr. Brightside.
I also really want to have a go at King Of Bongo by Mano Negra but annoyingly and disgracefully Manu Chao and his back catalogue are just not admired enough here. I wonder how popular karaoke is in Latin America? Only there can I live my dream of singing about little monkeys playing bongos.