Beer Pong…Er…Song

There’s been a recent phenomenon in community activity known as the “pub choir”. People gather in a pub at a prearranged time, learn a song, sing it together and share a drink (or two).

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It’s funny that it’s seen as a recent phenomenon. Singing in alcohol-selling establishments dates back centuries. A singalong in the local tavern was a common sight in days gone by.

But then came records and movies and tv and Celebrities. And people began to believe that singing was the domain of only the supremely talented.

Community singing groups have done an admirable job in recent decades to try and disprove that view but if conversations I had the other evening are any indication, they can still tend to be seen by some as only for ‘singers’. If one does not see oneself as a singer, it’s easy to be scared off by an official singing group no matter how welcoming.

The pub choir, on the other hand, seems open to anyone who wants to just have a crack at singing a song. Perhaps it’s the beer hall vibe where raucous and imperfect singing is seen as acceptable. Perhaps it’s the attraction of being able to lubricate any nerves with a glass or two of an adult beverage. Perhaps it’s just that video footage of such events always makes it look like a whole lot of fun.

The other night I attended my first pub choir event. And I’m sold on the concept. It’s a simple set up, with a well known song chosen (and, it appears, one that just cries out for enthusiastic singing), easy-to-learn harmonies divided into high, middle and low and words and simple guidelines projected on a screen. Accompaniment on this night was a keyboard and drums.

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The whole process only lasts a couple of hours with time for breaks factored in (for further lubrication if required). I went alone which was a challenge for me but before long I was singing along with newfound friends having a wonderful time.

And we well and truly built this city on rock and roll.

 

Have you ever attended a pub choir? What was it like?

44 thoughts on “Beer Pong…Er…Song

  1. Not only have I never been to a pub choir event, but I have never heard that song in my life !
    They’d need to be more along the lines of .. oh, say Paul Williams or Elton John or Billy Joel if I were to be able to open me cakehole.
    Looks like they’re going to have to struggle along without me.
    [grin]

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What fun! I can’t say I’ve been to a pub choir but I grew up in an Italian family and we often went on big community picnics where I remember all the adults singing, very loudly and usually after copious amounts of home made wine! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Methodists did love a good old sing. πŸ™‚ You should definitely try and track down a pub choir, Dan. Or find some musician/singer friends and get them to host one at your usual bar. Now, there’s a chat at the bar I’d love to read about. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha ha, actually, I have some musician friends who frequent that bar. Maybe that would work.

        There are other bar around here with live music, I’ll have to check. I haven’t ever heard of this.

        Like

  3. There is a pub downtown that’s been running a Choir! Choir! Night weekly for years. I’ve wanted so much to go but I really can’t carry a tune at all. I mean, really.

    I tried to convince my sons to go with me (both have GREAT voices – one’s a tenor and the other is a baritone … go figure) but neither would have anything to do with it. Maybe it has something to do with going out to a pub with their mother to sing πŸ˜‰

    It looks like it was a lot of fun. I’m guessing you’re going to become a regular?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, you bet. I’ll definitely be at the next one in April. And I’ve been sharing about it so enthusiastically, I reckon there’ll be a posse of us next time. πŸ™‚
      But you have to go to the one near you. Seriously, no one cares how you sing. And it’s so loud, you can’t hear anyone else anyway! So. You should book a date with Lynn and go and check it out together and then I expect you to report back. (Not really, only if you want to. πŸ™‚ )

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well it does look like fun sort of a group karaoke and unlike M-R I do know the song, but I’m not much of a pub goer. There are a lot of music events in pubs over here mainly for musos though, like folk groups or open mic.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What a fun way to get a bunch together & enjoy music together! Don’t think we have any pub choirs in our area although I am not far from Joanne, perhaps i’ll have to suggest we go😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think one of the things I loved most was how..um..un-slick it was. Unpolished. The leaders also made mistakes – didn’t come in at the right time or sang the wrong notes – but they just laughed it off, nobody cared and everyone just had fun. It really was as if a few musos and singers got a large bunch of mates together for a sing. I’ll definitely be back. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wasn’t the pub choir concept introduced by Astrid Jorgensen, (at least in Queensland)? Astrid was one of my daughter’s high school teachers. She and her colleague recently staged a few pub choirs in America. So the bug is catching!! And why not? An awesome experience and Astrid really gets the crowd going.
    We learnt and sang Solid Rock with Shane Howard from Goanna.
    It is a great concept and loads of fun. Singing is good for the soul.

    Like

    • I honestly don’t know where it began. I know it’s been around for a few years but I’d never come across one in my town (not that I was very actively looking). I’m very grateful to the friend who spotted this on Facebook and let me know (not really being on social media myself). She’s coming to the next one. πŸ™‚
      Solid Rock fits my assumption that they choose songs that the average person loves to belt out. Can’t wait to see what’s in store at our next outing!
      I think anything that gets people singing is such a worthwhile endeavour. It’s so good for you.

      Like

  7. Ooh. What a brilliant idea. I hadn’t ever heard of it, but Pub Sing here has a website and everything!!

    I doubt I’d be able to persuade anyone I know to go with me, but your lot did look very friendly. Were there any blokes there? Not asking for a friend or because I’m looking for a bit on the side; I just couldn’t see any in the video.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you might be surprised who might be persuaded to go. I’ve already got about seven people I know who are keen to come to the next one just based on me sharing the next day how awesome it was!

      Yes, it was predominantly women (but most singing things are) but there were blokes there. You can’t really see them because they were singing in the Lads/Lows part at the other end of the bar. I tend to sing with the high part.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think that’s the key to its popularity. You can really remain pretty much anonymous, sing your heart out and nobody cares. It’s the ultimate place for people who feel insecure about their singing ability. Nobody can really hear anyone else and nobody cares anyway. Everybody is just there to have fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. How fun is that! I’ve never heard of it but I think it’s a brilliant idea. The lubrication sounds like an excellent way to loosen up the vocal cords. The video was great fun to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh I do love to sing πŸ™‚ This is a good thing, this pub choir. One time when I was in Chicago, I went to this Irish pub called Kitty O’Shea’s and I drank and drank and sang and sang and learned a lot of Irish songs. I had the BEST time. I feel it’s one of those nights that cannot be replicated.

    Liked by 1 person

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