We know a thing or three about karaoke here at Londonist. We've lost count of the number of times we've drunkenly decided that, rather than fighting for a space in a crowded late-night boozer, we'll settle for a seedy Soho sing-me-up. And it's always great fun, but the venues themselves often leave a lot to be desired. We could do without the room turning into a sauna, the loveless decor, and the genuine fear of catching a disease from a seat. London needs a karaoke bar with a heart.
The guys at Lucky Voice agree, and appear to be on a crusade to inject some much-needed love into London's karaoke scene - this week, they've added a space in Islington to their chain of high-class karaoke venues. Londonist hired a room for ten on Sunday night, and we were blown away. These guys have a passion for karaoke, and it really comes across. The gorgeous private rooms each have a huge wide-screen TV, and their track list is quite epic, with pretty much every song that is worth singing in their database. Their system is running a very user-friendly custom app combining Sunfly tracks with at least five other karaoke labels, including Zoom Karaoke and Mr Entertainer. The focus is clearly on simplicity and elegance - light and volume dials were kept to a minimum, while the animations on the touch-screen interface resemble the smooth intuitiveness of I'm In Like With You. We were slightly sad about the lack of a complete A-Z of songs/artists, but the inclusion of a book listing songs by theme (Boyband, Old Rave, 80s etc) is a very charming touch.
The spacious room was infused with a warm rusty sunset colour scheme, and pretty pink pixel art along the ceiling helped create the perfect mood; the Bose sound system gave a suitably loud sound with minimal feedback; a box of hats, inflatable guitars and tambourines help to keep silliness to a maximum; and we definitely used the button which summoned bar staff to its full potential. And OMG AIR CONDITIONING! Such an obvious feature, so desperately lacking in venues throughout London, and one which made a world of difference.
Room rates are reasonable, though drinks prices fluctuated wildly. £2.20 for half a pint of beer is a bit steep, but this didn't stop us ordering about fifty of them. But with that one exception, Lucky Voice really is quite perfect. If you like karaoke, you simply must pay them a visit. They only have six rooms, so be sure to book early.