Fancy grabbing a mic and performing for an adoring crowd without the fuss of thinking up a band name? Face your fears at one of London’s great karaoke or mass singalong nights
1 Gotta Sing!
This established musical theatre night draws all the West End wannabes down below the Phoenix Theatre for a post-show performance. Whether it’s heart-wrenching Sondheim, classic Cole Porter or anthemic satire from ‘Hamilton’, with a West End musical director on the keys you’re bound to feel like it’s opening night at the Palladium. Good seats are limited so go early to secure a spot and your moment in the spotlight. Phoenix Artist Club. Tube: Tottenham Court Rd. Thu Aug 9. Register for free in advance for guestlist entry.
2 Phantom Limb
Celebrate the South-east and East Asian origins of karaoke with this one-off party thrown by artists exploring the experiences of the Korean diaspora. There will be a humongous choice of tracks, including 27,600 songs in Korean, 4,300 in English, 2,000 in Chinese and 3,500 in Japanese. If you’re feeling a bit shy, you can always grab one of the tambourines and down a few soju bombs – a shot of the traditional Korean spirit dropped into a pint. Jihwaja. Tube: Vauxhall. Thu Aug 9. Free, register in advance.
3 Karaoke Hole
London’s newest karaoke bar has certainly lived up to the hype. Not only are there disco balls and wind machines surrounding the stage but the hosts are a crack squad of drag starlets. Join for the evening session, or a late-night frenzy of karaoke. There are also themed events; look out for the Kawaii Karaoke party (August 18), when the CherrYO!kie group will provide each crooner with a line-up of backing singers and dancers. Dalston Kingsland Overground. Thu, Fri and Sat. Free entry, some ticketed events.
4 Greatest Showman Sing-a-long
Forget critically acclaimed films, forget trying to appear cutting-edge and embrace the unabashed cheese-fest of box office triumph ‘The Greatest Showman’ by hollering along to every single song, and hell, even the dialogue, at this super-friendly screening. Dress up to win prizes, enjoy unlimited popcorn and revel in the special performance of standout track ‘This Is Me’ by Grace Shush, winner of Miss Sink the Pink 2018. The Grand. Clapham Junction rail. Fri Aug 10. £10-£15. Tickets allow entry to the afterparty.
5 Hip Hop Karaoke
Unleash your inner rapper in front of a hyped-up crowd at this popular long-running night. There’s hundreds of songs to choose from, whether you reckon your flow is as razor-sharp as Missy, smooth like Drake or even if you have the personality to pull off bars like A Tribe Called Quest. If you’re not feeling ‘stage’ brave, it’s just as fun to watch. Just wait until you see Colin from accounts surprise the crowd by nailing some classic 60-bar Busta verse. Queen of Hoxton. Shoreditch High St Overground. Every Thu, £5-£7, arrive early for sign-up. Next date: Thu Aug 9.
6 The Coach & Horses Pub Sing-a-long
You might think that the classic East End boozer knees-up is long gone but head to The Coach & Horses in Soho to catch the real deal. Mister Meredith, Sing Along John and other regular players belt out classic music hall numbers such as ‘Roll Out The Barrel’, with a few modern songs thrown in. It’s a joyous, raucous affair, with less focus on everyone hitting the same notes than reaching the same slurry levels of happiness. Just wait until they play the first notes of ‘Maybe It’s Because I’m a Londoner’. The Coach & Horses. Tube: Leicester Square. Every Wed and Sat. Free.
7 Bearpit Karaoke
If your singing talent just can’t be contained within four walls, then Bearpit Karaoke sounds ideal. The format is simple: one person starts singing in a park; a crowd forms and strangers are encouraged to either join in or loudly celebrate those with the guts to pick up the microphone. It all started in Berlin with one man, Joe Hatchiban, and his car-battery-powered speakers. Nearly a decade later, thousands regularly attend the weekly sessions in Berlin’s Mauerpark. And now, Bearpit Karaoke is ready to woo London. Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. Tube: Vauxhall. Sat Aug 11. Free.
Find the best karaoke bars in London here.
Sing along to ‘The Greatest Showman’ while cruising on the Thames with Movies on the River.