As I make my way through what I hope is the last of the ‘Christmas food’ – there is only so much smoked salmon, Camembert and onion chutney a person can stomach, and I won’t even mention the ‘T’ word – the return to reality after the festive break is met by me with a warm embrace. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed a lovely Christmas with my family, although my dad did ask if I’d discovered Oliver Cromwell amongst our family tree, when he visited on New Year’s Eve and discovered I had already taken down the decorations (they came down on the 29th!).
From Dolly to David
I also had an amazing time seeing in 2016 with friends, singing karaoke at our local. I think the highlight of the evening was when I went up to sing Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again” only to find that the landlord had actually selected Whitesnake’s “Here I go Again”. Unperturbed, and a few gins into the evening, I did my best David Coverdale impression (and I don’t just mean my hair). As Louis Walsh would say, I made it my own!
However, there comes in a point in the ever-extending festivities when I begin to crave some semblance of normality. After all, how can Christmas remain special if it goes on interminably? And if you’re reluctant to return to your reality, then change it. Besides being sad losses to the music world, the recent passing of Lemmy Kilmister, John Bradbury, Guru Josh and Natalie Cole can’t fail to serve as a timely reminder to a generation that life is too short to waste on what could have been. Go out and grab your reality now. You never know, 2016 could be your best year yet.
It all began with a harmless question a few weeks ago. “I’ve found a pub that does karaoke,” said my friend. “Do you fancy giving it a try?” Little did I realise what I was letting myself (and the good people of Whitstable) in for, when I agreed to go. What started off as a laugh has now become a bit of an obsession, in which I seem to be attempting to ‘perform’ every 80’s track in the landlord’s book of karaoke tracks!
My first choice, a duet of Don’t You Want Me, was quite credible. Imitating Susan Sulley and Joanne Catherall’s bored, flat vocals came fairly naturally – like rediscovering the rebellious, disinterested teenager in me. Armed with my newly discovered singing talent, my next choice, made in a fit of overconfidence, was perhaps a bit too ambitious. Another duet (I hadn’t yet worked up the courage to fly solo!), I chose Islands In The Stream by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Unfortunately, the poor guy I’d roped in to sing with me (whom I’d met some ten minutes previously) didn’t appear to have ever heard the song before. Add to that the fact that, although I’ve heard the song hundreds of time before, I hadn’t realised just how high Ms Parton’s part goes. At one point, I was almost on my knees, trying to draw breath from reserves that I didn’t have! Needless to say, our performance was memorable, but for all the wrong reasons.
So, have I learnt my lesson? Have I, heck! I have since decimated the likes of Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again, Wham!’s I’m Your Man and a couple of 70’s rock classics, Bohemian Rhapsody and Bat Out of Hell. I can’t bring myself to write about what happened when I tried to bring myself a bit more up to date. All I will say is The Real Slim Shady is harder to perform than you would think! Best to stick to the Eighties, I think. I noticed Tiffany’s I Think We’re Alone Now in the book last week. Maybe I can sing that this weekend? I could even have moves to match the lyrics: “running just as fast as we can…”.