31st December 2013

Karaoke, we'll all agree, is one of those things you just love or hate. We're not quite sure where our latest reviewer Marianne Fernandes stands...

The embarrassment. The shame. The gut-wrenching, red-faced confusion I feel when I wake up in the morning and clasp my hands to my face in wretched dismay, realising that last night I agreed to grotesquely indulge in the eighth deadly sin, karaoke.

Karaoke, the damaging, pestilent past time of a few dark hours where what you’re doing seems so right but is so wrong. Like adultery, it has split up friends and messed up marriages; like greed it is a wicked indulgence and abject shame; like vanity, it destroys character and leads to regrets, cover ups and lies. Indulgent at first, it is soon realised as an indelible evil.

So, if you’ve managed to convince yourself that you’re a songbird with a voice like Adele and a face like Shakira (and a bum like Kylie) but it happens to be late at night, with too much drink, not enough light, and with people who just aren’t that close friends, then I would at least do it in a bloody nice venue.

The Jacques Room at Bounce Holborn

Button The Jacques Room at Bounce Holborn

I originally came here to play ping pong. Bounce in Holborn is the bar du jour, and every party seems to come here for the great tasting pizza, delicious cocktails and joyous games of ping pong.

The Jacques Room can be privately hired for groups. The room is actually set up for ping pong, which in itself is a great reason to come, but I’ve included it in this article because karaoke is also available here. And if you’re happy to expose your questionable talents at ping pong, you might as well show off your (in)aptitude at singing as well. Why not wake up with a feeling that perhaps someone didn’t notice how bad your voice was, because they were so shocked at your batting skills. Or the other way round.

Best of all though this room has its own bar - complete with bar tender - just for your party. Perfect. This place is a bit pricier than the other options, but it is worth it if you’re having a proper do because it offers the best quality refreshments mixed up with great entertainment.

Namco Funscape

Button Namco Funscape

Probably one of the best venues in London, Namco Funscape is set up in London’s illustrious County Hall. And if you need a venue that caters for different tastes, you’ve come to the right spot; this is ideal for corporate, adult or children’s parties.

With food, drink and an inexhaustible array of activities, Namco Funscape offers almost everything you can think of that entertains human beings, and the karaoke here is as well established as everything else. Rates are calculated on how many people you have in your room (up to fifteen) which means an economical choice for big groups.

And if you get sick of karaoke (or your voice wears out, whichever first) you can always shake off the blues with bumper cars or bowling.

Lucky Voice Islington

Button Lucky Voice Islington

This is my number one pick. Lucky Voice is well placed in Islington’s uber-cool Upper Street. Its cocktail bar is big and well stocked, and the atmosphere is laid back with more of the room given to seating than standing. You could actually walk in and think you were just in a simple bar. Mirrored walls are the only give away, at this point, that this establishment holds a secret through a far door..

They have a selection of five rooms here, of varying sizes, that all offer a good hideaway for karaoke parties. You can order food and drinks to be brought to you here and after 8pm, it’s only £10 per person for 2 hours, a very reasonable rate. With good cocktails, decent food and a laid back atmosphere, this bar is definitely a winner.

So there you have it. An emotive response indeed. We suspect that Marianne was secretly won over, but we won't pass judgement. If Karaoke is your thing, feel free to click through and book a space for yourself. If you're gonna do it at all, it might as well be in one of London's best venues. Cya next time.