Some stories from the past few days for Lauren - Hey Lauren!
Back on the subject of kareoke. That was a night and a half. It began as a night out to send of Amy in style, and that usually means going to the Stile the nearest pub to my halls that serves a selection of Ales. Oh Ale - how I love thee, the boys here will not drink the scum that is Carling, the scum that is Stella unless pushed. This means anytime I go out I am some times offered or sometimes steal a sip of beer that tastes as it ought. Characterful, fuity, mellow, honeyed. It does all depend on which you drink, but I digress here in ale rapture.
We had to go to Big George first. Big George is another thing to rapture about. For the standard £3 for a medium doner kebab that is the rule around here, you get oodles and oodles of succulent doner meat, carved in hugely generous chunks, topped with lumps of tomato, cucumber, cabbage and lettuce, and a choice of sauce. [This portion size would be an large or extra large anywhere else.] Always go for the chili. The meat is spicy, but the chili sauce will blow your mind. Therein lay my problem. When we finally reached Big George, we were met with the sight of the narrowest kebabs on the gyro, metal gleaming where it had been sliced to the skewer. Only enough meat left for one! Chris and I turned to each other and agreed, it should be Amy's as it would be here large Big George for months, and then glibly ordered chicken kebabs apeice with chili sauce.
After being barked at by the staff as they determined our condiment choices, for what you geti n quanity and quality of food is severely contrasted by the complete lack of politeness to customers, we went to find a wall upon which to consume. It was then as I unwrapped my kebab and my eyes stung with the wafting smell I realised my mistake. The juicy looking redness that bound the chicken breasts together on the gyro was not sppecial sauce or tomato as I had hoped, but chili. So I had a chili chicken kebab with extra chili sauce. How my eyes watered, how my nose ran and ran and ran. In fact I fully recommend one if you have sinusitis as it would dislodge any impacted mucus. [Oh what a nice phrase!]
The attempt at eating kebab was accompanied by an opinionated friend waxing on about how if we eat eggs, and people in Vietnam eat chicken foetus out the shell that we ought ot be allowed to eat unwanted babies. I worry about that boy I really do. I can't tell if he's joking, being needlessly provocative or just insane. I suspect the middle phrase. We had a newish perosn joi our group for the eve, and I think Filthy was trying to wind him up, though Gav turned out to be far stranger by the end of the eve.
We then argued our way to the Stile using bad direction and then commenced the consuming. The ale of choice appeared to be Paradise, though I stuck to my San Miguel and Lime. Hispanic beers and lime are heaven in my book. Paradise tastes like honey and fruit and pint would kill me. Needless to say I like it.
But it was Magners, the cider of 17 variteies of Apples that was requested by Amy, so we trudged to the Stag's a the union to consume. Magners is serious value for money. One bottle is marketed as a pint, but is more like a pint and half or a pint and a quarter and is just so. We played musical chairs through out the evening, going from willing a couple taking up a huge booth by themselves to leave, to aforementioned booth where Filthy found what appeared to be a used condom on the window sill. This lead to a quick depature to sofas. Where Filthy knocked me a s I sat down to talk to Amy and ended up with my face in her bosoms much to the enjoyment of the boys.
Oh the kareoke. Student kareoke veres on the side of irony, with the Pogues christmas number appearing on a June night and other such strange choices. But there was one eager girl who was taking it very seriously. Very seriously. A large girl, with a crowd of friends, I was expecting her to be one of those kareoke divas you find in the pubs back home, you know, big woman big voice. Oh no. Having had 3 years worth of singing lessons at secondary school I am the best person to critique - ;-) . She had a reedy voice that went from nasal flat 'e's' to low rumbling 'o's' and bless her heart he was premiering show tunes form a musical that is unknown in Britain. This is brave kareoke choice, and I'm sorry to say she didn't pull it off. Kareoke works best when a) its a song the world world know. That way if you're crap, the rest of the room joins in, or B) its a song that you can sing really well, that it it doesn't matter if its obscure. The songs were obscure, had those horrible musical theatre jumps from a note at the top of your range to one at the bottom.
After this ordeal and polite clapping, the boys were urging me to sing. I refused, and refused again. The crowd were not friendly, I was feeling fragile and I didn't want to be ripped to shreds in the way I have just shredded the above singer. But Gav and Chris who are persistant buggers kept pestering me. Gav kept staring at me as well which was incredibly unnerving, especially as there was a real life female enginnering student to occupy the poor ECS boys who though such a thing didn't exist. I ended up saying yes, just to get them to shut up.
Then came the choosing of the song. It had to be something I knew the words to. It had to be something I felt confident with. It had to be something well known. It had to be in a key the average female can sing. There were three songs on the whole list I can do. All That Jazz from Chicago - that was a nono. Showtunes had not done well tonight. Killing me Softly the Fugees version. That needs a soulful audience and a braver Alex and the audience didn't seem to respond to ballads. Big Spender it was. Okay if you've watched Sweet Charity it's techincally a show tune, but most people picture Shirely Bassey. I thought okay Alex - go for camp and go for drama. If you can't sing to night you can always ham it up.
It was a waiting game after that. Singer after singer got called, but not me. I kept bounding off to the loos for a quick practice and a fiddle with my lippy. When it was finally my turn I was so resigned to thinking we'll leave before I get called, I nearly broke my leg walking up the stairs to the stage with shock.
Gav was my prop, and admirably sttod there with his pint as I sang at him and demanded money. This must have look comical as Gav's bearded image is as far removed from a sugadaddy as you can get. I hammed it up, I wiggled my hips on the drum beat, I marylined some monroesque laugh where I was sure of my high notes, and then bloody hell I nearly fell over again as I actually hit the high notes on the repeated lines at the end. And then something strange happenned. There was applause. Real applause.
I think the nicest bit of the whole evening was Chris' face and comments. He looked so surprised.
" I didn't know you could sing like that!"