For the 4th year in a row, Rockaoke crashed into the New Year with a heart warming performance at The Crisis at Xmas volunteer’s party. Over 1,300 people packed into Scala to celebrate all the hard work they’d done over the festive period and set a benchmark for Rockaoke’s year ahead.
Following this up swiftly in February, we headed to Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse to play at the inaugural BBC6 festival. Billed in the fringe section of the program we found ourselves slotted in between Tim Burgess’ acoustic sets and the surreal wonder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. We may have rubbed shoulders with the likes of Guy Gurvey, Mark King and Huey Morgan, but the highlight of the weekend was the passionate rendition of Born to Run that Shaun Keaveny produced to kick off the show.
Onto March and a meeting with comedy royalty at The School of Life. David Baddiel was giving a Sunday sermon on Fame and requested us to help lead a secular sing a long around his talk. After opening with David Bowie’s Fame, we ended by surprising the whole crowd, including the esteemed speaker as we pulled an 18 year old Xfactor auditionee up onto stage to sing Creep. The nervous but talented rocker had everyone entranced and as the masses joined in to belt out the final chorus, Baddiel turned to the band and eloquently commented ‘this is like karaoke, but not shit’.
We raced through April and May with Rockaoke nights going strong as well as plenty of corporate parties, birthdays and weddings – including that of MC Mataoke’s sister, with him and his Mum smashing Living on a Prayer. There was also another trip to the legendary Concorde club in Southampton where our raucous crowd participation has found it’s own spot in the hearts of the jazz loving members.
June saw us launch into festival season headfirst with our Northern team taking on the Doghouse again at Download for 5 nights in a row. That was Rockaoke’s 6th year of creating rockstars in front of 3,000 head banging revelers. On the same weekend, the Southern team headed over to IOW festival to lather on the suncream and grab of few lead singers from the throngs in Hey Joe’s bar. We then managed to bolt on a week in Madrid as the house band at the Oracle global sales conference. Nice.
The Tour de France was kind enough to pop past Rockaoke HQ in early July and of course the greatest cycling event in the world needed help from the greatest live karaoke band on the planet. Then later in the month we had to up sticks and head to another major sporting event, this time the Commonwealth Games. Having caused havoc in the Athletes village at the Olympics and Paralympics at London 2012, we were all to happy to go and repeat the job in Glasgow. This time round we found ourselves largely turning lawn green bowlers into rockers….it’s always the quiet ones.
Two of the best gigs of the year came at Standon Calling Festival with around 400 people at a time cramming into The Salon tent to go crazy with Rockaoke love. Stunning performances, epic fancy dress and the a wild crowd high on life ( at the very least) caused one reviewer to ask the question – Are Rockaoke the most entertaining festival band on the planet? From the boutique to the major, we sent @rockaokenorth to V Fest in Birmingham to deliver the Carling Roadies brand experience. Likewise, at V South, our London team entertained in the Carling area whilst sneaking into VIP to play the Saturday night after-show. We finished off the month with a great 3 piece acoustaoke gig at the Time Out summer party where CEO Tim Arthur demonstrated his outstanding tambourine skills for most of the night. It was then on to Big Feastival where we headlined the second stage on the Sunday night.
In September we trecked up to Gleneagles and were honoured to play at The European Ryder Cup team’s winning party. After spending the afternoon watching the golf on the 18th green, we enjoyed our warm up act – The Jones Gang and hung out with Rory Mcilroy, Justin Rose and the boys. It was then over to us to try and control the exuberant Ryder Cup organising staff. We just managed to do that with the help of Miguel Angel Jimenez’s unique dancing technique and the note perfect tones of Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter
The end of the year flew by with some wonderful Rockaoke nights at the Star of Kings, Tooting Tram and Social and our new venue London Cocktail Club Shoreditch. However, we did have to mourn for one of our London homes as AAA bar in Kensington lost it’s live music license and with it our twice monthly carnage. We also slapped on the make up for Halloween at the Hospital Club. We devised a brand new Live Music Quiz for BDO, during which we turned 160 accountants into a Choir – thanks Starling Arts! And to top it off we met and played with Sky Sports King of Cool, Chris Kamara at The Heineken Star Pub awards
And so we came to the Christmas period and as ever, it was silly season for our bands. Amongst other amazing gigs we teamed up with Monster energy drinks to create a Rockaoke stage at the Mercedes Brawn 2014 Championship party, where Nico Rosberg duly obliged and smashed his way through a 6 song mini set. Other Christmas parties included Freemantle, England Rugby 2015, The Guardian, Ericcson, The Sun, The Earls Court closing party, Planet Rockstock, Lime Pictures, Sony Music and The European Tour. We then finished the year as we’d started and headed to Paddington Green for Crisis at Xmas. It’s not the easiest gig of the year, but it’s lovely to be able to make anyone a Rockstar, no matter who they are, where they’re from or what they’ve got. As ever, we’ll rock out with anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Thanks to everyone who made 2014 such a fun and loud place to be and we look forward to seeing you all in 2015!