Rocking away the January blues

What a great start to the year for rockstars everywhere! Without much of a break from the Xmas party season, Rockaoke have been hitting the road hard, and although the tiredness levels are high, it’s been well worth it. Satisfied singers the country over have been left with no voices and great ( if not vague ) memories. Here’s a few of the kind words that we’ve had back so far:

‘Just wanted to say a massive thank you for last Saturday night – it was an awesome evening and everyone had a fantastic time, best birthday party ever – really good fun’ Amanda, Rock and Roll birthday chick.

You guys are supremely AWESOME!! Thank you so much – that was SO much fun!! What a great party. I want to do it all over again right now. Xx  Sophie, overjoyed popstar

Just a quick email to thank you and the rest of the band for making my 50th birthday party one of the best and most memorable occasions ever !  Stuart, fallen over birthday angel

‘Thank YOU for a brilliant night – everyone has been texting and telling me how much they enjoyed your musicianship, professionalism, entertainment and the ability to make everyone feel part of the evening’ Sarah, legendary birthday girl.

‘When we need a performance that can astound and include a huge variety of people- be it upward of 1000  volunteers from all kinds of backgrounds at our volunteer party, or dozens of our homeless and vulnerable Crisis at Christmas guests – we ask Rockaoke. Their incomparable showmanship and musical chops are second only to the ability to take even the shyest punter and give them 5 minutes as a rockstar’ David Littlefair – Very cool Ents Coordinator, Crisis.

Here’s looking forward to a very busy February and undoubtedly similar levels of surreal stage antics as this, found in the picturesque Hampshire village of Whitchurch.

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ROCKAOKE’S 2014 RUNDOWN

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’.

Baddiel

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.

Crisis at Xmas

Thanks to everyone who made 2014 such a fun and loud place to be and we look forward to seeing you all in 2015!

Here We Are Now, Entertain Us!

Rockaoke in TNT magazine

Rockaoke, featured in TNT magazine april 2014.

Playing at the AAA at Archangel on the first and third Friday of every month, Rockaoke is the UK’s original, best and, well, only specialist live karaoke band, giving people the chance to ‘live the dream’ up on the stage with the backing of a full live band.

Unique among the karaoke bars, Rockaoke has been spreading its brand of fully interactive rock’n’roll fun for the last eight years, both up and down the country as well as worldwide.

Join in and rock out!

(read the full article here)

The School of Rockaoke Life

The School of Life is a global humanist organisation devoted to developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture.  Who did they choose to help spread that message on Mother’s Day? You’ve guessed it….David Baddiel and Rockaoke.

Sunday mornings are not a musician’s natural habitat but we managed to drag ourselves to the beautiful Conway Hall  to sandwich David Baddiel’s brilliant secular sermon on Fame with two rock and roll hymns.

The subject of the talk provided the opening hymn, with us leading the congregation in an early morning dance  to David Bowie’s Fame.  We then sat back and laughed for 45 minutes as Baddiel, one of Rockaoke’s comedy heroes, shared his observations on fame; his own, other people’s and the myths surrounding this prized but also reviled status.

DB

The following Q&A session provided us with the ideal end to a wonderful and slightly surreal morning, as a wannabe teenage rockstar asked a question about levels of fame based on his own upcoming XFactor audition. When we returned to the stage to play the final hymn, Creep by Radiohead, we asked asked him to come onto the stage and lead the song.

He rose to the challenge and delighted the audience as he rolled onto the stage, put on his sun glasses and delivered a slightly nervy, but wonderfully tender rendition of the Radiohead classic. It ended with the whole room singing an a cappella refrain of the chorus, before Conway Hall erupted into applause for the fame hungry youngster, who had given the perfect epilogue to David Baddiel’s poignant and extremely funny sermon.

Just a regular Sunday morning in the office. In the words of Mr Baddiel himself ‘I’ve never seen this before, It’s brilliant, you make karaoke NOT NAFF’.

Rockaoke – Just what the Doctor ordered.

What the Doctor ordered

Bosley_crop_Rockaoke

According to new scientific research, Karaoke nights out are actually good for your health, writes The Telegraph Science Correspondent Richard Alleyne.

Researchers found that moderate drinking with a good friend helped improve cardiovascular health with singing also helping to reduce stress.

While heavy drinking is associated with a greater risk of a stroke, light to moderate drinking has been linked to a lesser risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.

Having the social support of a good friend seems increase the positive effect that moderate drinking has on your health.

“In short,” said Professor Takeshi Tanigawa, at Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan. “Moderate to light alcohol consumption with high social support is good for your health. Drinking with a good friend appropriately makes you feel happy and healthy.

“So drink with good friends for health.”

Prof Tanigawa also recommended karaoke bars as one way for business persons to cope with stress. “Singers use deep breathing, which is good for the nervous system,” he said.

“After singing, they usually receive applause. It is a good kind of social support, and helps in the face of adverse occasions or stressful events.”

AAA - 6th April 2013-46 - cropped

The study on 19,356 men aged 40 to 69 found the health benefits of light to moderate drinking are more pronounced in men with greater social support.

The study, published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, also found that those with low social support had less healthy lifestyles such as physical inactivity, no job and fewer opportunities for medical checkups.

Heavy drinking was found to be risky irrespective of the level of social support.

Professor Hiroyasu Iso, the study’s co-author from Osaka University, said: “We found the reduced risks of total stroke, ischemic stroke, and total cardiovascular disease associated with light to moderate drinking were more pronounced in men with high social support, probably due to avoidance of unhealthy behaviours and enhancement of stress buffering.”

(read the full article here)

See you at a Rockaoke Night soon!!!

AAA – High St Kensington – 1st and 3rd Friday of the month
Tooting Tram and Social – 2nd Friday of the month
Star of Kings – Kings Cross – Last Friday of the month.

#YOLOndon – London’s Finest WTF Experiences

YOLOndon#YOLOndon feature in TIME OUT London – 11th march 2014.

We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves…!!!

“Londoners, are you living? I mean, really living? Well, it’s high time you started and to kick you off, this week’s issue of Time Out Magazine is dedicated to the lost art of YOLOing. Yep, you may well be aware that You Only Live Once, so we’ve rounded up the most impulsive, wild, fun and fancy-free stuff to do in the city. “

You only live once – so have stupid amounts of fun with London’s finest WTF experiences.

Becoming a ROCK STAR is a long process involving countless hours of practice and oodles of talent (all that commitment, all those sacrifices, being in the right place at the right time, knowing the right people, kissing the right ass etc… etc…)

Ain’t NOBODY got time for that!

Just jump on stage with the dudes from ROCKAOKE at one of their London ROCKAOKE NIGHTS and belt out some tunes with a LIVE ROCK BAND.

Rock God rewards – zero effort.

ROCKAOKE NIGHTS are fridays nights at AAA, Kensington,  Tooting Tram & Social and Star of Kings, Kings Cross.

Venue info and sign-up to sing @ www.rockaokenights.com xxx

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Rockaoke at the BBC6 Music Festival

This has to go down as one of the greatest weekends in Rockaoke history. We’re all still buzzing from the BBC6 Music Festival at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. We were asked by the coolest music radio station in the country to be their official party starters on both the Friday and Saturday on their inaugural festival. This was organised to say thanks to the listeners who helped to keep the station on air and BBC6 enlisted the UK’s finest live karaoke band to add a bit of interactive rock and roll fun to proceedings, complimenting the raft of rockstar talks, interviews and acoustic sessions that were going on during the daytime fringe.

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The very first live musical performance of the weekend took place on the Rockaoke stage on Friday morning and it was no surprise to us that our old pal Shaun Keaveny was determined to kick proceedings off in style with a performance he predicted would be the festival’s “high-water mark”.  Typically charismatic and slightly bonkers, it was a great opening salvo; however Shaun wasn’t the only person to get up and show us who’s The Boss:

The following sets saw us blast through some old Rockaoke classics, but also visit  new ground with tunes that had been specifically requested by BBC6.  We went Up The Junction a couple of times, Pumped it up with some Elvis Costello and drove down the 2-4-6-8 motorway whilst Tom Robinson himself was watching. He was one of the many musical heroes who we had the pleasure of entertaining and meeting across the two days. Our heads are still spinning from the chats we’ve had with Mark Radcliffe, Mark King, Tim Burgess, Guy Garvey, Steve Lamacq, Huey Morgan and even Freddie Flintoff.

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The only down side to the experience is that we didn’t get to play one particular tune that we had rehearsed. It’s probably a good thing though as the Victoria Warehouse may not have been able to deal with a rendition of “Two Pints of Lager and a packet of crisps please” similar to this one that we smashed during rehearsals.

You can see the rest of the musical highlights on our You Tube channel.

We’re already excited about the thought of doing it again next year. Hopefully we’ll be able to bring a few of the Rockaoke faithful along!

ELLE UK – 5 of the Best Karaoke Experiences in London

ELLE UK - 5 of the Best Karaoke Nights in London

ELLE UK – 5 of the Best Karaoke Experiences in London

ELLEUK.COM’s guide to their Five Best Karaoke Experiences in London

…with ROCKAOKE at #1

Whether you monopolise the microphone or you’re a closet crooner, we’ve tracked down five of the best karaoke nights in London.

1) Rockaoke

This is karaoke taken to the next level and the perfect option for a private party with a difference. Channel your inner exhibitionist and sing with a live band behind you. The hi-tech stage lighting, professional musicians and slick set up really give you an authentic taster of the real rock star experience.

(read the full article here)

ROCKAOKE LTD. 04 Park Square, Thorncliffe Park, Chapeltown, Sheffield, S35 2PX, 0114 220 2225,

rockaoke.co.uk

ROCKAOKE set to play BBC6 Music Festival!!

Rockaoke are delighted to announce that we will be playing at this year’s BBC6 Music Festival in Manchester at the Victoria Warehouse!!

BBC6 Music Festival

Rockaoke’s involvement at the festival will be at the Fringe event, which takes place on the Friday and Saturday afternoons. We will be nicely sandwiched between DJ sets and spoken word sessions from Tim Burgess (The Charlatans), Huey Morgan and Craig Charles to name but a few.

There will also be a record fair, a BBC Radio 5 live special with Freddie Flintoff and loads of other goodness for you to feast yourselves on…!

If you are at the event, and want to sing Karaoke with your favourite live Karaoke Band, then come say hello and rock out with Rockaoke!!!!

There will be a brand new, bespoke set list chosen by the music gurus at 6Music, full of slightly alternative but awesome songs from The Clash to The Tom Robinson Band, Blondie to Weezer plus all your favourite Rock and Pop classics!

See you in Manchester!!!

Rockaoke does The Dam!!

2 consecutive years, 2 separate clients, coincidently the same date each time, and 1 city. That’s right…..AMSTERDAM BABY!!! Word must be spreading about the UK’s finest live karaoke band, ROCKAOKE!

Last year we were flown out to play at the RAI centre, just outside of Amsterdam for the Blackberry Jam and the launch of their new Blackberry Z10.

This year home entertainment specialists Control 4, invited us to come and play in an old 18th century orphanage which is now one of Amsterdam’s premier 4-star hotels, Hotel Arena.

http://www.hotelarena.nl/en

The rooms were certainly better than the cabins aboard the Stena Hollandica. Although surprisingly the cabins on the boat were great! :)

This has got to be one of our favourite venues of all time……and we’ve played a few!

live band karaoke in Amsterdam

18th Century Orphanage and home to Rockaoke for the night.

We had the most amazing light display, multiple guitar jams, groupies, guest drummers, inflatable sax’s, solo performances, group performances, crazy fancy dress and our drummer Basil even had a drum riser!! We had everything but the kitchen sink at this gig, and we LOVED IT!!

#only at a rockaoke gig!

Same time next year then?!?!

Rockaoke groupies!

Rockaoke groupies!

…the best live karaoke band on the blogging planet!