When I was little we had a karaoke system at home. My family would buy karaoke laserdiscs (LDs) of singers we love to sing. Thank goodness my neighbour was as obsessed with karaoke as us so she didn’t mind our singing. Apparently LDs never managed to gain popularity in Europe so Daniel has never seen one.
As I grew older I frequent karaoke places like Kbox and Party World in Singapore with my friends. Call us cheesy, but that’s where we had most of our fun together being dramatic, acting the songs out or screaming when Jay Chou kissed his MTV girl. Yes, we magically transform into crazy girls during karaoke.
I reckon my year abroad in Japan brought karaoke to a new high. Being geeks in our very own unique way, Dan and I used to go to this really cheap karaoke place near our dormitory that charges only 500 yen between 12-8pm (yes, 8 hrs of karaoke!!!). It wasn’t a sleezy place in Shin-Kawasaki. They had an awesome selection of Chinese and English songs, and of course Japanese. There was a platform in the room so we could pretend to be pop stars. What I found hilarious was the system telling us the number of calories burnt after each song! What you might find unbelievable is we brought our textbooks there to study. It wasn’t all play. We were serious students.
For Dan’s 28th birthday, he wanted to do some karaoke with a few friends and was recommended Melody. I was a little apprehensive to begin with but I thought the birthday boy should get to decide what he wanted to do. I rang up and booked us a medium-sized room (accommodates up to 8 people) for a Saturday night. It costs 30 Euros an hour for the room and we sang for two hours which turned out to be a really good karaoke session.
Melody has a very good selection of Chinese songs (yay!!!). Apparently their English songs selection could be wider since some people had problems finding their songs. What’s really cool is you can visit their Facebook page to check what has been updated to have a rough idea.
When the waiter brought us to our karaoke room (yes, Asian style!), he gave us my FIRST EVER karaoke “HOW TO”. Melody has a fairly decent system where you can either browse through files of songs and then enter them into the system using a huge tablet or simply search using that very same tablet. Don’t ask for the Chinese songs books because they don’t have them. Apparently if they printed books for Chinese songs, there will be more than 15 files! That made me happy.
Unlike in Singapore where most places make it compulsory for you to order drinks, Melody doesn’t. In fact, they have a pretty good all you can drink for less than 10 Euros which might be worth considering if you drink lots. I don’t, so that wasn’t attractive for me.
I was glad most of their songs (at least the ones we chose – English, Japanese and Chinese) had the original MTVs. It’s such a pain to watch a blue screen with lyrics when you’ve paid money for karaoke. If I wanted a blue screen, I might as well plug a mic into the laptop and sing off YouTube for free.
Tip: If you’ve never been to Melody, don’t be put off by its appearance when you first arrive. It kind of reminded me of the scenes from the movie Saw – you’ll have to walk into a warehouse like building with white tiles that look like they’re meant to be in a bathroom. But once you’re in Melody itself, you’ll feel comfortable enough. Nice rooms, good song selections (if you’re Chinese and you’re missing home, try singing karaoke), great service and reasonable price (check out their off-peak rates).
- Internet Cafe Karaoke Bars – The Ginza Tokyo is a Luxury Venue That Pairs Strange Activities (TrendHunter.com) (trendhunter.com)