The Salut! Sunderland karaoke competition won’t go away

Mid-chorus? Jake captures the Man of the Moment


Not sure what Fraizer Campbell’s is, or even what he’s doing here except that he does have musical kin. Mine is the Human League’s Don’t You Want Me? Jon Guy’s is It’s Not Unusual. James Stevenson belts out Alice Cooper’s Poison. Vince Richardson loathes karaoke but once succumbed in South Shields and offered the suitably modified Daydream Believer to wind up some Mags. Hilary has to be drunk but will do Respect or Islands in the Stream while Joan, if given flight tickets to Hong Kong and a private karaoke cabin on arrival, can get all the way through the long version of American Pie. And you? What is your karaoke song or party piece?



This week
is likely to be awash with items relating to Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby. A seriously good “Who are You?” is ready to go – though it may wait until Thursday – and there are some thought-provoking musings from a Mag-supporting cousin of M Salut’s to entertain you, not to mention a slice or two of Pete Sixsmith’s magic. So for respite, I have decided to keep this piece of nonsense, the Salut! Sunderland karaoke competition, running until noon on Sunday, when the derby kicks off.

It has little or nothing to do with football. And the prize will not change anyone’s life: a Salut! Sunderland mug, as shown but with modest design refinement if it happens to be won by a non-Sunderland supporter.

The question is: what is your karaoke song and why? the best answer, as judged by Monsieur Salut, wins the mug. If you share Vincent’s view of karaoke but have a song you’re prepared to deliver at a wedding or party, that’ll do.

Don’t want to enter but want the Martin O’Neill ‘Team of all Talents’ mug? Click here: £9.50, post-free for UK buyers, from the Salut! Sunderland Shop

In the original posting, I explained why my karaoke song is the Human League’s 1980s anthem Don’t You Want Me?. A press release telling me of a tour planned later this year reminded me of the many times I have applied my dubious vocal gifts to the song, as I described at this link.

I will import the replies received so far to this posting. Add your own choice and story; if no more are received, my choice will be made from existing entries.



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And if you want nowt to do with karaoke and just wish Salut! Sunderland would stick to football, click anywhere on this sentence for a glance at the home page – and highlights of all the most recent articles …

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12 thoughts on “The Salut! Sunderland karaoke competition won’t go away”

  1. A huge lottery win, a seriously dirty weekend with Kirsty Young (I know, not everyone’s choice, but she’ll do for me), and guaranteed Champions League qualification for the next 10 years. That is what would be needed before I would appear on a karaoke stage. I would then stand there for the full 7 minutes of Jessica* by The Allman Brothers Band and sit down to stunned silence having not uttered a word. *You will know it better as the Top Gear theme – a 7 minute instrumental!

  2. American Pie- the album version. Many years ago at a drunken evening in Newcastle Co.Down, we all had to do ‘a turn.’ No karaoke machine and no instruments. I have no idea why, but this came into my head. Everybody of course knows the rousing chorus, but not many know the full version, so it went down a treat. I dare say I can still do it, but have limited opportunities!

  3. Jake – I hate karaoke too and the only time I’ve ever done it was when a group of us from the Heart of England Branch stayed in a pub at Coxhoe on a Saturday night before the last home match of the season. For a few seasons we’d make a jolly of it – getting up to the pub at lunchtime opening, catching the bus into Durham for a few more beers and a curry and then back to Coxhoe for a few more and a lock in – though as residents we were leaglly entitled to carry on after last orders. Anyway one year I was persuaded to get up and there was a you tube video somewhere. Can’t remember what the song was but it could have been Springsteen’s “Born to Run” or Steely Dan’s “Ricky Don’t Lose That Number.”

    In the mid seventies before Karaoke we used to go to the Ivy Leaf club in Hendon on a Monday for the quiz night and they had a singer called Nobby who always did his turn on stage, with his off the shoulder jacket as he belted out his Frank Sinatra numbers. Anyone else remember him?

  4. Seems I am in a minority on the karoake hating(as usual),I mean why anyone wants to listen to a whole night of drunken off key warblings is beyond my comprehension.

    Stay at home and sing in the bathroom if you have to….but don’t inflict it on innocent folk trying to enjoy a night out ; )

    My daughter(now 14)was asked to be part of a school choir doing some performance a few years back back in her junior school days and she was telling me all about it all for weeks,with me not taking much notice to be honest.

    About one week before the big event she asks if I am coming to watch her sing with “The Drifters”…..

    .”WHAT?…….THE Drifters” …

    “Yes Dad, I ve been telling you for weeks but you have never taken much interest till now”.

    Sure enough they performed on the Empire stage on two Drifter songs and even had one of the singers come to coach them at the school too.I was never really a Drifters fan, but they were excellent entertainment on the night, even though not the original line up…..and the bairns were so cute.

    Canny marketing ploy too, as most of the audience were family and friend of the kids in the choir.

    Can I get her mug if she wins?

  5. There are some crazy and funny people who follow this club of ours. I can remember the institution that Jake mentions (Close Encounters) which is now part of the Sunderland Student’s Union.

    I sadly have no tales of karaoke, funny or otherwise which I could contribute to this rather brilliant thread.

  6. Always On My Mind. I can’t remember the first time I did it, back in teh early 90s but I used to do a double act with a lad called Keith Peacock in Bishop – he’d do “He’s Got To Go”, then I’d do mine. It took off when someone congratulated me for singing it at her son’s wedding!

    I used to get calls from a pub near the one I worked “the karaoke’s not getting going, can you pop across?”. I did a whistling section instead of the instrumental break, and it never failed to get things going. I remmber following it up with “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” – SAFC 92 version (landlord was one of us) on a fwer occasions
    Haven’t done it for a while now, but it’s still there, lurking

  7. I’ve never done karaoke, and I don’t know if I should tell you this story as it fills me with pride and embarrassment in equal measure, oh go on then, as I know you….Early 80’s, rhythm & blues/rock & roll legend Bo Diddley was playing in Sunderland. It was at the former Boilermakers club down by St Peter’s church, it had been transmogrified into a nightclub of sorts (it may have been called Close Encounters)and me and my workmate, a teddy boy from Boldon Colliery called Glen Miller (real name) met in the Wheatsheaf at opening time to get ready (ie “tanked up”) for the gig. By the time Bo took to the stage we were well refreshed and several songs into his set and emboldened by drink I decided Bo needed a backing singer, so I clambered up on stage and started singing into the guitarist’s mic. Now then, at this point I should have been booted from the stage, but to his credit, Bo (big lad, cowboy hat, square guitar) beckoned me over to him, then for a glorious minute or so I sang into the same mic as the legend himself. I think at one point he may have put his arm around me but as you can imagine my memory of this is quite sketchy. When the song ended he shook my hand and I climbed down from the stage to be greeted by the adoring masses. Well, at least that’s how I remember it. From that day on, every time I saw Glen Miller he talked about my “duet” with Bo Diddley and to be honest, it’s thanks to Glen that I know any of these facts because it’s all just a rock & roll blur…….

  8. Two favourites’ Respect’, Aretha Franklin and ‘Islands in the Stream’, Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers. I dont have any stories that I can remember, but have to be pretty drunk to do it so …..

  9. The only time I’ve done karaoke was in Hong Kong. You got your own private room and there were about 6 of us in there. Although the locals’ English was excellent, it did crack me up when they started on the Simon and Garfunkel number – “Hello Dennis, my old friend”. Can’t remember what I sang though I’m sure we managed the full version of American Pie

  10. I hate Karaoke and have only had the misfortune of doing it once (under protest),was at a football do in South Shields,as usual it was half Newcastle and half Sunderland fans….only one I thought appropriate……. The Monkees “Daydream Believer”,which I dedicated to my Black and White “friends”…changing the odd word here and there.

  11. My Karaoke tale goes from Iceland to Old Trafford and the song concerned is Tom Jones’ It’s Not Unusual.
    A fair few years ago I was on a business trip to Iceland and at the end of a day touring the island we all attended a black tie dinner where the entertainment was the band which had represented Iceland in that year’s eurovision song contest. Qiite frankly the female lead singer was stunning and I mentioned to our host that i was a bit oif a frustrated singer. She immediately thought it would be great if I got up with the band in front of 450 drunk insurance brokers. Thinking on my feet I mentioned It’s Not Unusual thinking that they may not know it and if they did I could remember the words – unfortunately they said they had the music and the keyboard player headed off to the car to get it. I then belt out a version with the stunning blonde they then demand an encore which is duly delivered and naturally I think that when the band finishes its set I can chat with the singer, dreaming of a night that will never end in the land of 24/7 daylight. However it turns out that apart from being a pop star this girl is also a leading campaigner for lesbian rights in Iceland!!! Crestfallen I think nothing of it until the following year when I am at our league game verses Manchester United at Old Trafford to be confronted by another fan who screams – It’s you that Tom Jones bloke in Iceland.
    It wasn’t the sort of screaming reaction I was hoping for but I suppose that’s not unusual!!!!

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