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!
“Four hours before the Police bade their final farewell to Britain, a karaoke contestant called Steve was belting out Message in a Bottle in a tent a few hundred feet from Hard Rock Calling’s main stage. A middle-aged man in a Stranglers T-shirt, Steve had a gritty voice for a Sting stand-in, but still he managed what none of the afternoon’s paid acts could – he got a crowd going crazy.” – The Times
ROCKAOKE’s love of all things festival-related dates back to 2007, when they were invited to play at V FESTIVAL by Virgin Radio (now Absolute Radio) in their VIP area. They shared the stage with acts like Manic Street Preachers, The Kooks, The Fratellis, KT Tunstall, Paulo Nutini and McFly and were joined for a few numbers by Al Murray (singing Queen of course), James Nesbitt and Christian O’Connell.
In the VIRGIN RADIO VIP area, star guests enjoyed bespoke rock & roll cocktails from the HARD ROCK CAFE bar and make up application courtesy of the MAC Pro team. Lily Allen was first in the queue having her trademark thick black eyeliner applied.
Paulo Nutini, The Fratellis and McFly were among the acts who performed exclusive live sessions for the intimate audience in the Virgin Radio VIP Sessions, setting the stage for ROCKAOKE, which was kicked off by James Nesbitt and went on into the night.