Live music venue The Duke of Enmore is inviting Sydney’s seasoned rockers to take the stage at its Live Band Karaoke. The newly tuned night of entertainment revives the classic eight-year strong karaoke event that grew popular at Frankie’s Pizza.

Following the closure of the underground pizza joint, The Duke of Enmore has relaunched the well-known Live Band Karaoke which will take place bi-monthly. Sabrina Medcalf, entertainment manager at Odd Culture Group and former manager and licensee of Frankie’s Pizza, spoke about the ‘Duke-a-fied’ version of the hard rock karaoke event.

“We put entertainment on at The Duke of Enmore five nights a week, but we had a gap mid-week. I had a meeting with the band and we discussed that it would be a massive shame to lose an event like this, it’s gone through many years of success.”

Medcalf also sought and received the permission from Frankie’s owners Swillhouse Group, to bring the Live Music Karaoke concept to The Duke.

“With Frankie’s closing, we felt it would be a nice way to keep that energy alive. The Duke has a very similar vibe, so we thought it was a match made in heaven.”

Bringing an element of entertainment to an otherwise quiet night of the week, Medcalf commented on the impact the karaoke event has had on footfall.

“If you walk down Enmore Road at the moment, it feels alive. A lot of people are doing live music, you have the Enmore Theatre, there’s a special entertainment precinct which has been amazing for everybody.

“Mid-week is still quite slow, so putting this on in true Duke identity, with the doors closed but you can hear music roaring, has people walking past asking ‘What is going on in there?’. People walk in, and it doesn’t feel like a Wednesday, you feel transported to that Friday or Saturday night energy, but with a more intimate crowd,” stated Medcalf.

“There is truly nothing else in Sydney like it, especially mid-week. The karaoke-heads that show up every week are dedicated to the cause. What is the cause? Be a rock and roll legend for a night with no strings attached (other than a possible hangover).”

The evening is hosted by professional band Boner Contention, made up of Will Vaughn, lead singer of Bloody Legend, bassist Blake Cateris, who is an acoustic soloist for Molly & The Krells, drummer Jase Canelas of Hope in Vein and lead guitarist Pierre Ishak.

The Sydney musicians invite customers on stage to perform vocals with the backing of their drummer, lead guitarist and bassist, and the option to involve the lead singer. Revellers have a menu of 150 songs to choose from, with 30 bonus songs for each event.

“There is a certain skill to getting everybody involved, those who went to Frankie’s know what it felt like to walk down those stairs and feel at home. The Duke has the same vibe, every single person is welcome, nobody challenges you,” Medcalf added.

“Will, the host, and the managers work together to create a very relaxed environment, with high energy music, which is a strange combination especially when you put it under the spotlight.

Bad singing is welcome, if not encouraged.

“There is something weirdly cringey about going to karaoke and hearing really good singers. It doesn’t feel honest or real, it’s not really what it’s about. That’s what has been the appeal since day one, it’s awesome,” states Medcalf.

“When you go up on stage, you’re in the centre of your own band basically, with lyrics of course, proper sound, proper lighting, and the support of people who really know what they’re doing.”

Revellers have access to a Spotify playlist to practice in the lead up, with hits from the likes of AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Guns N’ Roses and Rage Against The Machine.

“Karaoke at The Duke is a great night of mid-week rock ‘n’ roll fun in Sydney,” commented Ronnie Simmons of Rose Tattoo and Faster Pussycat. “The band is on fire and it’s a great platform for both punters and already established musicians to get up and belt out a tune on the same stage.”

For the rest of the year, Live Band Karaoke will kick off at 8pm on the following dates, September 6 and 20, October 11 and 25, November 1, 15 and 29, and December 6 and 20.