Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Karaoke buzz in our pubs
EDGAR R. BATTE

First it was an exclusive to Sabrina’s Pub but in the wake of what seems to be the growing popularity of karaoke sessions, almost every other nook and cranny has gone for it. The karaoke craze is the latest kick drawing patrons to most local pubs and bars. There is some great fun that comes along with the jigs and there are a number of places where you can catch up on the fun. Friday night buzzes with karaoke from Alleygators at Garden city down to Zandiz bar on Kimathi Avenue and all the way to Sabrina’s pub, filtering out to some of the local pubs in the suburbs. Banners displaying names and troupes to perform the jigs can’t be missed.
On Friday night, talent is portrayed as patrons croon away to favourite hits. It’s an attraction with fans and the troupes attempting to put up a good show. Excuse the fact that sometimes the performers can get really sleazy as they wiggle to Shakira’s Hips don’t lie. Some girls live up to telly images and splash out as much flesh as they can and perform some seductive stunts. This often works up the crowd
So on Friday night after making the rounds in town in search of an ideal spot to spend the evening, the blaring music from Kimathi Avenue is tempting. The crowd here is young and their comments and jokes speak volumes about their tastes. Their talk runs from women to football and which club is buying ‘who’ and the speculations about the transfers. Nevertheless, music takes centre stage as revellers guzzle their beers. There is plenty of club beer for performers beyond the reward of 90 percent. The bubbly guys let out laurels and jokes to the ladies that take to the stage to do a favourite number, probably a classic those awakens/brings back fond memories. They won’t hesitate to concoct a few of their lines in the songs just to suit them. Ssali hosts the night with his karaoke memory machine with over 1,000 songs. The loud cheers show the crowd is having a good time. Alkright’s John Ntimba is one of the patrons. The old timer swirls, twists and helps the young souls recapture the glee of the good old days till the wee hours of the morning.
Meanwhile in an attempt to sound American, the emcee loses pomp when his accent lets him down and he gets his share from the crowd that boos him down. The dance and karaoke troupes will stop at nothing to impress the crowd and will make sure the people get their money’s worth. By this time of the night, the revellers have taken one too many and excitement clouds the bar.
Karaoke sessions seem to be a big attraction in many pubs in and around Kampala. This explains the numerous dance groups formed to compliment the karaoke acts.
Sober Royals, the Challenger dance group, Impressions International, Oceanz Queens, the Paradise angels are just a few of them and they usually perform at the Rubaga-based Hanny’s Pub, Pride Corner on Namirembe road, Sabrina’s Pub, Lumas Pub, Club Sahara, Eden park and Sax Hotel.
The troupes mostly constitute teenage boys and skimpily dressed girls who do more miming than the actual karaoke and even then, they are unsure of the lyrics.

At Zandiz bar Impressions dance group international are the usual main act of the night. With no dressing room or stage to perform, the four-member group steer their way through a five-hour entertainment sail to a largely youthful crowd, who after a few drinks start throwing nasty jokes at the group members who are trying hard to live up to their catchphrase “Impressions will get you impressed” as relayed on a dingy banner that greets revellers at the pub’s entrance.
Generally, the session is nothing more than the usual school gigs with lads making attempts at Ginuwine and Usher slides, and break dance strokes and later trying to add some thrill to local hits.
Apparently, the performers don’t gain much either. For instance apart from the inconvenience of lacking a dressing room in the case of the Impressions dance group international, (which means girls hardly have any privacy from their male colleagues and the audience), a performance according to Ssali may fetch Shs80, 000 or less. After cutting off costs such as transport, each member could retire with Shs5,000. For the stage costumes, it is upon each member to improvise and for shelter, they have to share a house in order to save something. It is such a hard knock life them!

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home