For weeks now, I’d been hearing about the street karaoke phenomenon in Kowloon around Temple Street, just a ferry boat ride away from where I’m staying in Wanchai. But I wasn’t ready for what was about to go down! A whole little neighborhood filled with sidewalk karaoke stands covered and separated by tarp (I presume so that the karaoke can continue rain or shine). I was so busy taking the in scene that I didn’t get around to taking a picture of the sidewalk singing collective but it is something to see. It’s not what you think in terms of the karaoke bars you’re used to. Imagine, about ten or twelve open air stalls with a keyboard player, a PA system, a couple of mics, and a few old Hong Kong crooners going to town! This, in every single stall, means that there are simultaneous karaoke songs being sung throughout the neighborhood. You walk in front of one place, and a guy will be singing something, in English or Chinese; you walk two or three steps down, another guy will be singing something in Chinese or English! Both, or should I say ALL of them (because this continues as you move on down the block), of the crooners are singing at the top of their pipes with reckless abandon…. And of course, I decided to join them!!! I looked through the book of songs, which included a very limited selection of English titles, and this is what I came up with!
What I personally love about karaoke is that it’s not about how well you’re able to sing or not! It’s about your ATTITUDE while croaking that tune out! If you sound terrible but are giving it all you got, then you’re doing EXACTLY what you’re supposed to be doing as a karaoke artist. I can sing, sure. But I’m fully aware that there are countless people who sing WAYYY better than me, but I don’t let that stop me from getting on that mic (though ten years ago, it would have been a different story). It’s not a gig, so whatever comes out, I rock with it! Rock it out, however I want to in the moment… which makes for a beautiful memory, in a so many ways. So, it was crazy fun singing with for and with these Hong Kong karaoke characters!!! I’d do it again in a heartbeat… Matterfact, I may go do it again next Friday! 🙂