Sometimes when I review I am granted a ‘plus one’, but never before have I been invited with a ‘plus eleven’! At Karaoke Box Smithfields the more the merrier… there are sixteen private karaoke rooms of varying capacities (the largest can hold up to 40 people). The privacy of the rooms encourages guests to sing their hearts out without the embarrassment of strangers sniggering at nearby tables.
It all seemed pretty high tech to me, with flatscreen TVs, surround sound, wireless microphones and dimmer lights. A red button can be used for waitress service and guests are able to control the sound levels themselves. The song selection is vast and varied… over 9,000 songs searchable by artist or title. Those not in charge of the Karaoke playlist can flick through a paper booklet to find their favourites. Later I found out, amazingly, that the songs are also available in French, Spanish, Swedish and German, and five select rooms even have a Japanese option… ideal for multilingual show-offs.
As a singer, and self-confessed diva, this review was ideal for me, but finding friends willing to partake was more of challenge; needless to say most downed a few beers en route to the Smithfields venue. The Dutch courage must have worked because everyone seemed to be in high spirits and fine voice when we arrived at our booth. The first Friday of 2013 and Karaoke Box was silent and empty when my raucous group turned up at 8pm. Located in the city, this club has most of its business during the week, Fridays are quiet in comparison. It suited us perfectly, exotic fruity cocktails and oven-hot thin crust pizzas arrived without delay.
We spent a fun-filled three hours in the booth, chatting, singing, eating and drinking. The staff were efficient and helpful throughout and made the whole evening run smoothly.
Highlights of the evening included: a punchy version of Vanilla Ice, the girls’ renditions of Beyonce, Spice Girls and Cher classics, and some brilliantly brave boys attempting Eminem and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. And then of course there were all the usual Karaoke favourites, a Grease medley and even a Christmas duet.
With some throats hoarse, at 11pm it was time to stop though I would have happily continued singing all night. With facilities this good and a menu of good grub and cocktails to match, Karaoke Box is the ideal venue for any party or celebration. Or better still, just an excuse to sing your heart out.
Room prices vary according to size. For an hour costs range from £20 for a four person room to £150 for the fifteen person VIP area.
More information and to book here: http://karaokebox.co.uk/smithfield/