Back in 2005, Sheffield bassist Jon Short had a band without a singer. This wasn’t an ideal position for a family man to find himself in, what with a mortgage to pay and mouths to feed, so he decided to try flipping this disadvantage into the band’s USP (unique selling point). No one else was doing rock band karaoke, and for good reason – there was no demand for it. For a year the phone remained silent.
Then one Saturday morning in May 2006, the phone rang.
It was Ibiza based entrepreneur Andy McKay who introduced himself as co-owner of the World’s biggest nightclub Manumission. He invited the band to do a season at Ibiza Rocks. Jon suggested Ibiza Rockaoke! Andy bought the domain. And when Kaiser Chief Ricky Wilson jumped on stage with them to belt out a drunken “I Predict A Riot”, all eyes and ears were suddenly on hot Sheffield band Rockaoke and their exciting new concept.
The Rockaoke band/brand/concept very quickly became a favourite London club night attraction. Iconic venues like Punk, Proud, Raffles, Cuckoo Club, AAA, Roadhouse, Koko and others all offered Rockaoke Nights. Festival appearances followed, beginning on the V2007 VIP stage with a star-studded line-up of celeb singers and an appearance in OK Magazine. Before long, the band were performing all around the UK and Europe, touring with the Chris Moyles Show, house band at Hard Rock Cafe, darlings of aftershow parties like Kerrang Awards, the Brits and Top Gear Live, getting booked for private parties by the likes of Alan Shearer, Richard Hammond and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, opening the show at Chris Evans’ Carfest and… well, the list goes on.
10 years and an estimated 2,500 shows and 50,000 lead singers later, the Rockaoke tour bus shows no sign of slowing down. However, with the exception of one charity event, they have never done a club night in their home town. That is – until now….
The Steel City’s music scene is famous for spawning the likes of Pulp and Arctic Monkeys, and much of this history can be retraced within the walls of the Leadmill – Sheffield’s longest running live music venue. Many of the World’s iconic acts have graced the Leadmill stage over the years, including Coldplay, Oasis, Kings Of Leon and The Killers, and on the 22nd October 2015 Rockaoke will join them!
So basically, this is a shout out to all you Sheffielders, inviting you to come along and to make your voice heard (literally) at The Leadmill.
In case you’re not familiar with the Rockaoke concept, here’s how it works.
You fill out a song sheet telling us what you want to sing. When your name’s called you get on stage and become a ROCK STAR backed by a three piece band and with lyrics provided. Once you’re up there, mic in hand, the most important thing to remember is – this isn’t the X-Factor. We don’t care whether or not you can actually carry a tune. All we look for is passion and enthusiasm, and all we ask is that you have a blast!
Entry is £5, doors open at 7:00 and the band will be rocking out til 11:00! Head to leadmill.co.uk to buy tickets.
And to make sure you get to sing, sign-up online at www.rockaokenights.com.