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  • Writer's pictureAndy Przybyla

My weekly Karaoke Night

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

Its only just stuck me reading back through a few blog posts, I've never once posted about one of my main passions as a performer.

With a few rare exceptions you will find me at the Blue Bell Pub in Jesmond Vale each Friday night hosting Friday Night Karaoke.

How did it get started?

I'll be honest I wasn't really looking for either a residency or to do karaoke. I'd only recently rebranded my business and was focussing on Wedding DJing and becoming a wedding specialist. One of my first gigs post rebrand was for the wedding of Neil and Angie Dey at the Country Hotel in Newcastle.

A year later I got a phone call to ask me if I was available to cover a karaoke night as the regular host had crashed their van and couldn't make it. In a strange turn of luck, some might say it was destiny I'd had my booking cancel so agreed to do it. I threw together some kit that I could use and went along. This was at their previous Pub in Newton by the Sea and the night went great. The crowd really warmed to me as I have quite a unique style when doing karaoke and come the end Neil asked if I'd want to do more nights for him.

Sadly at the time the money karaoke nights pay vs weddings and a pretty full diary meant I couldn't commit. FF about 18 months, Neil and Ang moved to a new Pub in Jesmond and had decided I was the man for the job. Again it seemed destined to happen Friday's had went very quiet in wedding world, we were still pre Covid times and people were finding weddings midweek a whole lot cheaper than Friday prices. Thus I agreed to start on the Fridays I was available and try to get cover when I wasn't.

So you mentioned a different style?

Most Karaoke Hosts will mix between playing full vocal tracks between singers and some tend to shy away from having back to back singers. My style is somewhat different. I don't use a DJ booth both for available space and because I feel it creates a barrier. I like to be upfront and centre actually hosting the night.

I also very seldom play pre-recorded songs which a lot of people find strange. Its a night about singing and I like to be part of this. While I'm not the worlds best singer I do love karaoke so I do a warm up set myself to encourage people to get up themselves. I've done it both ways and I find like many things in life, when people see you doing it, they want to try themselves and often the singing starts off faster.

This all said and I find it staggering but I do get people come to hear me sing at the start and its highly flattering. When the party does start this is when I feel I come into my own, interacting with the crowd, coaxing reactions, helping them or even duetting with the customers. I've a very easy going and outgoing personality so its not unknown to hear them chanting my name when I close for the night - again very flattering.

Who Comes along?

Its quite a mix. It starts with a pack of the locals who come each Friday night and some regulars from a little further out of the estate. Next we get a large crowd of Uni Students, and some who have graduated and hung about - this part of the crowd can fluctuate depending on the time of year.

Many of the staff past and present and their friends drop in or hang about after shift. I often get some of my friends and DJ colleagues popping in as they recognise quality entertainment when they see it. How the night goes has a lot to do with who is in. Some of the groups really love to sing, others just like to watch.

Leave them wanting more...

It is a short night because the entertainment licence stop us at 23:30. The venue has over the years had its fair share of noise complaints due to its location smack in the middle of a housing estate. I always try to finish the night on a high getting people involved so when the speakers go off people are raring to do it all again next Friday night. I've really came to love it, its not like working at all and while the pay packet isn't outrageous, its regular pay every week.

Get along and give it a try, I know karaoke isn't for everyone but I've managed to get loads of people my own wife included to break their duck and get on the floor banging out a favourite song. See you soon!


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