Where to … do live-band karaoke


“Karaoke has come a long way since tacky pub crooning competitions that sent a million wannabes flocking to the X Factor auditions. We’ve since seen the social sport become hip by way of Japanese-style, Lost in Translation-influenced booths. Well now karaoke has gone upmarket with the introduction of live bands. The amazing Shunt (020 7378 7776; shunt.co.uk) members’ lounge beneath London Bridge station regularly hosts classy karaoke sessions, with jazzy musicians bolstering brave singers who are willing to get up on stage to belt out contemporary songs – from Blondie to the Beatles. Membership (basically an entry fee) for the evening costs £5. Alternatively, become lead singer, for one song at least, with Rockaoke, a rock band who play at the Loop Bar in London (020 7493 1003;theloopbar.co.uk) on Thursdays.

The trend is exploding in the States, so join The Human Karaoke Experience at O’Flanagan’s bar (myspace.com/humankaraokeexperience) in New York, scream away at the Metalsome (metalsome.net) rock night at the Dark Horse Cavern in Atlanta or join the Live Band Karaoke collective (<a href="http://livebandkaraokechicago simvastatin medication.com/” target=”top”>livebandkaraokechicago.com) in bars across Chicago.

The Observer – sunday 26 august 2007