We’re off to England for Part Five of Brian’s Karaoke World Tour and the most visited place in all of England – Blackpool. In fact, with 120 000 holiday beds, Blackpool has more tourist beds than the whole of Portugal. What is even more amazing (and frightening) is that Blackpool attracts 11 million visitors annually, which is more than twice the number of people that visit Australia every year. And as a draw for tourists, nothing comes close to Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach (an amusement park). It is the most popular attraction in the UK with 7 million visitors annually, outdoing the British Museum by almost 2 million (stuff ancient treasures when you can shove ping-pong balls down a clown’s throat). And amongst all the fish and chip shops, tacky souvenir shops and B&Bs are pubs full of drunk Brits including some scary karaoke bars.
I was in Blackpool with my dad for my book I’m not eating any of that foreign muck. Now, I rarely pass up a chance for a bit of karaoke, but I did hesitate at the door of Jim’s Karaoke (12th season), which was next door to Pat’s 10p Bingo Hall. The place was packed with pissed folk (of that speaking-incoherently-dribbling-flashing-your-bare-bottom type), and there was some poor bloke up on the stage who, judging by his gut-wrenching wailing, was obviously being tortured. I dragged Dad in, but we didn’t get very far. Our feet had stuck to the carpet. A large sign next to the stage said ‘Anyone swearing, swinging mikes or chanting football chants will be cut off’. Most of the crowd was made up of blithering drunkards from separate buck’s and hen’s nights.
A succession of people wailed into the mike, before one guy got up to sing ‘I will always love you’ wearing an Osama Bin Laden mask (which had better looking teeth than he did). After I sang a song (I got rapturous applause because I didn’t fall off the stage), I went upstairs to the loo and walked past one of the hens giving one of the bucks a blow job in front of the ladies’ toilets. It was on that note that I decided to call it a night (although I had to stop Dad from going up for a look).
Next time on Brian’s Karaoke World Tour: Philippines