Through our regular nights at AAA in South Kensington, we made friends with some of the people who work with the rock band MARILLION. The upshot of this was they asked us to come out and play at their Weekender at Port Zelande in the Netherlands in march 2015. We were scheduled to play an aftershow party on the saturday and sunday nights – well the early hours of the following mornings to be precise.
We anticipated 2 great shows. But fair to say we didn’t quite know what to expect. Marillion pretty much invented the whole crowd funding thing and owe their continued existence to their fanatically loyal / loyally fanatical fanbase. Over the weekend, it felt like we were adopted as a part of this wonderful family the band and their fans have created. Being part of a family is just how it felt!
The 2 shows were brilliant. We were made very welcome and enjoyed playing with some fabulous performers who all well and truly bought into the spirit of Rockaoke. We all had a lot of fun!
The highlight of the weekend came around 1am on monday morning when Marillion singer Steve Hogarth (“H”) joined us on stage. We reckon he’d been performing for around 10 hours over the weekend but he still managed to muster the energy and the voice to perform 3 songs as a thankyou to his adoring fans.
This has to go down as one of the greatest weekends in Rockaoke history. We’re all still buzzing from the BBC6 Music Festival at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. We were asked by the coolest music radio station in the country to be their official party starters on both the Friday and Saturday on their inaugural festival. This was organised to say thanks to the listeners who helped to keep the station on air and BBC6 enlisted the UK’s finest live karaoke band to add a bit of interactive rock and roll fun to proceedings, complimenting the raft of rockstar talks, interviews and acoustic sessions that were going on during the daytime fringe.
The very first live musical performance of the weekend took place on the Rockaoke stage on Friday morning and it was no surprise to us that our old pal Shaun Keaveny was determined to kick proceedings off in style with a performance he predicted would be the festival’s “high-water mark”. Typically charismatic and slightly bonkers, it was a great opening salvo; however Shaun wasn’t the only person to get up and show us who’s The Boss:
The following sets saw us blast through some old Rockaoke classics, but also visit new ground with tunes that had been specifically requested by BBC6. We went Up The Junction a couple of times, Pumped it up with some Elvis Costello and drove down the 2-4-6-8 motorway whilst Tom Robinson himself was watching. He was one of the many musical heroes who we had the pleasure of entertaining and meeting across the two days. Our heads are still spinning from the chats we’ve had with Mark Radcliffe, Mark King, Tim Burgess, Guy Garvey, Steve Lamacq, Huey Morgan and even Freddie Flintoff.
The only down side to the experience is that we didn’t get to play one particular tune that we had rehearsed. It’s probably a good thing though as the Victoria Warehouse may not have been able to deal with a rendition of “Two Pints of Lager and a packet of crisps please” similar to this one that we smashed during rehearsals.
You can see the rest of the musical highlights on our You Tube channel.
We’re already excited about the thought of doing it again next year. Hopefully we’ll be able to bring a few of the Rockaoke faithful along!
Rockaoke’s involvement at the festival will be at the Fringe event, which takes place on the Friday and Saturday afternoons. We will be nicely sandwiched between DJ sets and spoken word sessions from Tim Burgess (The Charlatans), Huey Morgan and Craig Charles to name but a few.
There will also be a record fair, a BBC Radio 5 live special with Freddie Flintoff and loads of other goodness for you to feast yourselves on…!
If you are at the event, and want to sing Karaoke with your favourite live Karaoke Band, then come say hello and rock out with Rockaoke!!!!
There will be a brand new, bespoke set list chosen by the music gurus at 6Music, full of slightly alternative but awesome songs from The Clash to The Tom Robinson Band, Blondie to Weezer plus all your favourite Rock and Pop classics!
Carfest South (sat 25th August 2012) @ Laverstoke Farm, Hampshire and Carfest North (sat 8th September 2012) @ Cholmondely Castle, Cheshire.
“…the best thing I have EVER seen!” – Chris Evans
It’s always been a Rockaoke dream to give want to be rockstars the chance to shine on the biggest stages. The ultimate goal of course remains Wembley Stadium, but we continued on our noble quest this summer with a couple of sensational sets at Chris Evans’ SOLD OUT Carfest events.
In late August in Hampshire at Laverstoke Park and then a few weeks later in the glorious surrounds of Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire we played to our largest crowds to date. At each gig we opened for the likes of The Proclaimers, Razorlight, Paloma Faith and Texas and pulled festival goers out of the crowd to front their own band with over 10,000 people chanting their names.
Chris Evans was on hand to co-host, jolly the singers along and crack through a few numbers himself. In fact it was the words of the nation’s most successful broadcaster to the gathered masses that describe perfectly how awesome it was, “That is the best thing I have EVER seen!”. If you have read his autobiographies you will realise the enormity of the statement. He has seen a lot!
Here are some YouTube highlights from Carfest 2012
FRINGE PROGRAMME LINE UP & EVENING VENUE CURATORS ANNOUNCED
In very different fashion from the coinciding Royalist festivities, Gaymers Camden Crawl, scheduled to take place Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May 2011, will celebrate its 10th birthday edition since its inception in 1995 on the May Bank Holiday Weekend.
Swift on the heels of selling out its early bird weekend tickets, the Crawl is pleased to reveal the first stage of its line up announcements for 2011. Over the past four years, the festival’s daytime fringe programme of cutting edge arts and music has continued to flourish on a par with its legendary rock & roll evening extravaganza. During the daylight hours the main thoroughfares of Camden will literally burst at the seams with a vast array of comedic talent, visual art and crafts exhibitions, spoken word and performance theatre, interactive events & games and, of course, live music.
Sprawling across more than twenty venues, the Crawl daytime schedule of events kicks off from midday on both days of the weekend and runs until 6:00 pm when the evening live music scramble begins. Upon arrival at the festival each ticket holder will be presented with an all-access wristband, programme guide, timetable and free download album to help plot his/her day’s adventure. ‘Crawlers’ will be granted unlimited access to all official daytime and evening venues and parties capacity permitting.
The 2011 confirmed daytime fringe line up includes the UKs 2 coolest karaoke shows:
HIP HOP KARAOKE (Saturday @ The Ice Wharf)
Putting a fresh twist on the ancient art of karaoke, the legendary Hip-Hop Karaoke lets you get on the mic and act out your rap fantasies to the fullest. With over 150 songs to choose from the set-up includes everything that an authentic hip-hop live show does,. DJ Rob Pursey and comperes Marc Choice and Bobby Champagne Jnr.. Lose yourself!
The ultimate rockstar experience that is Rockaoke first hit the road in 2003 and have since performed with an estimated 24,000 individual lead singers. Rockaoke has slowly been taking over the world residencies in some of London’s most prestigious clubs to high profile appearances at festivals and of course the 2010 Crawl aftershow party.
Sunday 2nd May, officially the start of the Rockaoke summer, and it’s not because of the weather as it was freezing and pissing it down. It’s because it was the start of our 2010 festival season. Camden Crawl was a weekend we were all really looking forward to, and it did not disappoint. From the second the free bar opened it was pure rock n roll carnage on the Rockaoke stage @ Dingwalls.
Each and every one of the performers embraced their few mins of Rock n roll glory to sing with a live Karaoke Rock band, even if they were in bands themselves such as Baby Bird (Danny, bass player of Baby Bird sang Kiss as the opening song). As the Gaymers Cider flowed, so did our set of anthems with all manner of people gracing the stage from MTV people to Kerrang, we even spotted the drummer from Snow Patrol trying to sneak on to stage, although were pretty sure he was trying to get his mate on. But none the less we shared the stage with a member of Snow Patrol. Another name to add to the Rockaoke hall of fame 🙂
Despite the crazy amounts of booze consumed (sensibly of course), Camden Crawl produced a really high standard of singers/performers helping make this one of the most memoral Rockaoke nights so far this year. It’s certainly the latest as we got off stage at 3am – but boy did we enjoy it! and would we do it again?
It is rare that you get asked to be involved in something that has never been done before. On saturday may 15th, ROCKAOKE are going to be doing just that. Breaking new ground where angels and maybe even Robbie Williams soundalikes fear to tread.
TRIBUTE is a completely unique, alternative credit crunch festival celebrating the greatest rock and pop anthems of the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s alongside a headline performance by live karaoke rock band, Rockaoke – and YOU!
For the first time in history, you, the audience will headline your very own music festival.
TRIBUTE will be an all-inclusive, sing-a-long extravaganza, playing out as a history through Rock. There are 3 of the UKs premier tribute bands on the bill. HOT FUSS, ZU2 (easy to work out what they are all about) and MAURICE JAY’S PLEASURE DOME (a tribute to the 80s). But they are only the warm-up for the star attraction. Which is you – with ROCKAOKE as your backing band.
We have worked in Belfast 3 times before – twice at The Empire Music Hall, 2 nights amongst the best gigs of our lives. And most recently in december doing “Caroloke” with the CHRIS MOYLES SHOW at the Mandela Hall, Queens Uni. Belfast is just such a terrific place to visit and to work in. And we can’t wait to get back there in may.
So much so, infact, that we are heading back there next week – 1 month ahead of schedule. We are flying into Belfast and then heading for Derry on the 8th april and Dublin on the 9th to do 2 launch night / warm-up / audition events – at Sandinos and The Village respectively. Here are some links to these events on Facebook: