Stockport Fun Karaoke League
In 1999, Paul Sinclair performed a gig at the Greyhound pub in Cheadle Hulme. Whilst there, he stumbled across a magazine which promoted local pubs and an article about the Stockport Karaoke League caught his eye. Paul featured in the magazine as an artist and ended up being approached by the editor of the magazine, who asked Paul if he would consider judging in the league. Paul agreed and judged for a season. By the 2nd season, he was promoted to be the chairman of the league and things ran smoothly. However, some pubs eventually fell out because there was a disagreement regarding whether or not singers who did paid gigs should be allowed to take part in the league. It was decided that professional singers and paid artists would not be allowed to participate. Paul and several of the pubs disagreed with this decision so he eventually resigned and went on to set up a new all-inclusive league with the emphasis being on fun.
In 2003, Paul set up the Stockport Fun Karaoke League which ran alongside the other league for a year. The original league ceased to exist and the Stockport Fun Karaoke League still exists today. Paul ran as chairman of the existing league for 6 years. Since then, several other people have run the league including Lee Hughes, who is running it for his second consecutive year. Our league is made up of 14 Stockport pubs and a fixtures list (generally running from April to November/December), is drawn up by the annually elected League Committee. Matches take place on a Monday night and a judge watches the singers perform in order to select the Best Singer, Best Performer and Judge’s Choice recipients of Karaoke League certificates as well as deciding upon the overall winning team that night. Most of the time, singers can select a song of their choice to perform. However, the fixtures list incorporates theme nights and Kamikaze Karaoke nights, which all adds to the fun. Scores from every match are logged by the league’s statistician and Presentation Night takes place at the end of every season in order to hand out trophies to both teams and individual singers.
I love the fact that the Stockport Fun Karaoke League raises money for charity and different teams are responsible for organising this event from year to year. In total, over £2500 has been raised for Macmillan Cancer Support, Ronald Macdonald Houses, Diabetes UK and Headway in recent years. During Charity Night, the highest scoring singers and performers from each of the 14 teams during the course of that particular season will compete against one another. This competition takes places in order to select the overall winners of the Best Singer and Best Performer trophies of the league. Tickets are sold for entry to the event and a raffle takes place. These nights are always well attended and we plan on continuing with this charity work in the future.
On a personal level, my participation in the league has helped me to develop my confidence performing in front of others and I have learnt to connect with not only the song, but the audience on a deeper level. I still get nervous, especially when trying out a new song or singing in a new pub for the first time! League rules state that we need to respect one another and not talk over performances (we can talk in between and during the break) so this means that singers are given a captive and receptive audience. This makes a refreshing change from a normal karaoke night, where the singing is often just a background distraction amongst the hustle and bustle of a busy pub. The Stockport Fun Karaoke League brings together people in the Stockport area who share a mutual love of singing. Great friendships have been forged and love has even been in the air for some participants over the years.