This Friday just gone I went on a bit of a night out with an old work colleague, Ben. I met him in the Dundee Arms in Bethnal Green, one of the worst pubs in the area but chosen by Ben due to its close proximity to the place he had been working.
I’ve only been in the Dundee once before, about 8 years ago. I met up with Fox in there as he had to come to my house for some reason or another. It has gained a reputation as one of East London’s more rougher pubs, due to its close proximity to York Hall where they frequently hold boxing matches. On fight nights it tends to be full of Irish travelers and boxing fans from all over the country who have come to cheer on their hometown hero. So naturally it gets a bit rowdy.
I have to say it has been given a much needed lick of paint on the inside (although I still think they missed a few bits). And there wasn’t a fight on that night, so luckily we avoided a punch-up. We only stayed there for a couple before popping back to mine quickly so that I could get changed. I left Ben in the company of my mum in the living room and came back to find him entertaining her with his tale of meeting the actor John Lithgow, who my mum had never heard of.
Ben is a bit of an actor. He is part of an amateur dramatics society and recently performed in a production of “The Rivals” (He played a character called “Fag”. LOL). I must go and see his next play. He told me he had been working on the script for a sort-of podcast thing, where he goes on air and just rants about stuff. Normally I would dismiss this as the kind of thing that’s been done time and time again, but he read some to me and I was highly entertained. He has a way of telling stories that just captivates the listener.
So, we had karaoke on our minds and the only place that I could think of which wasn’t a million miles away and that definitely had karaoke on that night was the Wine Tun in St. Pauls. We hopped on the tube over there. On the way we made up a game where we had to change the lyrics to pop songs so that they had religious overtones. My personal favourite was “Every Breath You Take”, which we edited thus:
“Every single day, every time you pray,
god is watching you.
Watching you take a nap,
watching you take a crap,
watching you get pissed,
good job he doesn’t exist”.
While I usually possess a somewhat dark and highly intellectual sense of humour, every now and again something childish like that will have me rolling about the place with laughter.
We entered the karaoke place and I was the first one up, and did my rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “Heard It Through The Grapevine”. For the first song of the night it was quite well received. Ben followed with Maroon 5’s “This Love”, and I was impressed by his vocals.
Ben also did “Learn To Fly” by the Foo Fighters, and Take That’s “Rule The World”. I cannot stand Take That or any boy band for that matter, but Ben’s rendition certainly went down well and got quite a crowd up dancing and singing along.
I did “Under The Bridge” by the Chili Peppers, and Tracy Chapman’s magnum opus “Fast Car”, which I got quite a positive reception for, to my surprise.
This karaoke place gives away a bottle of champagne for the best singer of the night. The last time I was here back in July I won it with my version of Ocean Colour Scene’s “The Riverboat Song”. However, Ben took home the champagne this time and I was well chuffed for him. People were coming up to him and congratulating him and a few people said to me that they’d enjoyed my singing as well (although their hearing dogs didn’t look too happy). Overall, we smashed it (not the champagne). We totally rocked the place up and we hope to return in a few weeks and finish the job.
We have organised another karaoke night on the 21st and hope to get a bigger crowd down. I may even try to get a video of myself on the karaoke and post it here on this site. After all, what good is the internet if one can’t use it to humiliate oneself to a worldwide audience?? Still, it should be fun.