We’re off to Thailand for Part Ten of Brian’s Karaoke World Tour and a bit of ‘Speed Karaoke’ in Chiang Mai. I was travelling around Thailand in March this year for my book Tell Them to Get Lost when I dragged my girlfriend Beth into a dimly lit and very empty karaoke bar in a back street of Chiang Mai. There was all of five other patrons in the bar, so the barman was very happy to see us – and sell us a drink (the pic is of all the five guests with me singing in the background). The barman handed us a thick song book then flicked to the very back. That was because there was about fifty pages of Thai songs and only one page of English songs. And even then there were only twenty songs to choose from.
I started with ‘You’re just to be good to be true’ (although there wasn’t that much choice I have to admit that I like a bit of Engelbert Humperdinck). So up I went and then the music started. At warp speed. It was so fast that I couldn’t keep up with the lyrics. And not only that, but the song was about five keys higher than Engelbert sings it. I was concentrating so hard to follow the speed lyrics and when I finally looked up Beth had collapsed on the floor in tears of laughter.
My next choice of song was even more bizarre. I picked Billy Joel’s ’You may be Right’ (as I said, there wasn’t a big choice). Somehow the karaoke songsters of Thailand had turned it into a rap/hip hop song. It started with: ‘You may be right, right, right. You may be right, right, right.’ It did this about twenty times. When the song finally started I was out of breath. The song was also on speed and again I couldn’t even read the lyrics fast enough to sing. And again Beth was on the floor in tears of laughter. I didn’t do another song after that. I was scared I’d have a heart attack. Or Beth would have a heart attack from laughing so much.
Next week on Brian’s Karaoke World Tour: Austria