Monday, October 25, 2010

The Unchained Melody of a night with friends

Don't you love it when an evening degenerates? It begins sipping a crisp Riesling in a swanky bar and finishes slurping cheap sparkling from a jug (I kid you not - a plastic jug at that) and singing Dire Straits in a cupboard-sized karaoke bar. That's just how we roll in the Fibro.

On Saturday night, The Builder and I abandoned left the children in the capable hands of Gran and Pops and steered Theresa the Territory in the direction of The Big Smoke. The wind was howling, the rain was torrential, the piggy bank was all but empty, but nothing was going to stop us. We had a date with old friends. We had a date with Neil Perry at Rockpool Bar & Grill that had been four months in the planning. We had a date with Dire Straits - though we didn't know it at the time.

We stayed with TICH* and his girlfriend La Fashionista in their uber-cool new apartment. They have a knack for finding the kind of accommodation that makes me drool. High ceilings, wide floorboards, quirky courtyard arrangements all furnished in that funky retro style that is hard to manage when you have to store four container-loads of plastic toys. I like to go there and luxuriate in the minimalist vibe.

Sitting in the restaurant was like dining in the foyer of the Gotham City Bank (see pic). If only all banks had the same service. Our meals were lovely and if we were seated a little too close to the open kitchen for pure comfort, the fact that we could keep a close watch on our meals being made was a bonus. So close that we were able to name the chicken that a member of our party had chosen for dinner. (Frank was reportedly delicious, thanks for asking.) We talked, we laughed, we drank fabulous, glamorous wines.

So far, so relaxed sophistication. It was afterwards, after numerous text messages to and from TICH (who was enjoying his own grilled meal - otherwise known as a barbecue - across town) that we found ourselves at Echo Point. If you've never been to an underground karaoke bar, you might not want to rectify that situation. Picture a very small, very dark, very hot room. Bench seats on three walls, large coffee table in the middle. Two microphones, one TV, two song books. All drinks in plastic jugs, with small plastic glasses.

And we sang. Loudly and with gusto in our sound-proof cupboard. Cheering each others' efforts, helping out with the hard bits, laughing at the rock star moves on offer.

Two hours later, we emerged blinking into the streetlights. And the rain. There was a renewed intimacy between us. It's hard to go back once you've seen your friend perform Rocky Raccoon. Or Celebrity Skin. Or Romeo & Juliet. Or Unchained Melody, for that matter.

It was a great night. Some things are worth braving wind, rain and bankruptcy for.

*My brother, The Inner City Hipster.

{image: Rockpool Bar & Grill}

In other news, I'm guest posting today over at The Red Dress Club. All about creating the perfect pitch to sell your ideas to publications. It's a precis of part of a workshop I developed with Alex Brooks a few years ago. Is worth a visit. Promise.

And just to prove that I'm a total floozy, I'm also guesting with The Drama Mama today. If you ever wondered how I got into journalism, you may find this surprising.


  1. I love it!! Sounds like an amazing night. They are the kind I like the best.

    We did that one night. Went to Benihana for dinner with 2 girlfriends, one is very chatty and started some kind of shot trading exercise, next thing we are singing Elvis Songs in a karaoke booth with an engaged couple from Melbourne (who was hitting on my friend) and a Japanese couple who thought they had died and gone to heaven. Never saw any of those people again, but loved it just came from nowhere like that.


  2. Wonderful. Sounds one of the best kind of nights out. They used to be very frequent in my past life! Definitely overdue for a big night out right now. How was the hangover the next day!?

  3. Thanks for the fabulous guest post at my place. I love it when I have such awesome company! Your post at TRDC is fantastic as well.

  4. One of the best nights out I've ever had was in a Danish karaoke bar with friends - and a lot of strangers, some of whom became friends. (We'd stumbled into it because everywhere else was showing football.)

    Both the glam sophisticated and rowdy rebel rouser parts of your night sound fabulous - there's room for both in life. Just off to check out your guest post on pitches...

  5. The last time I karaoke'd was to sing "The Only Way Is Up by Yazz. I got so drunk with my then boss that I ended up agreeing to transfer from Sydney to Adelaide.

    Thr irony of this never fails to amuse me.

  6. It always ends up messy when that TICH gets involved. So happy you had such a great night and didn't let the weather dissuade you.

    Loved your guest post over at the interestingly titled blog... I knew the story already, of course, but inspiring to be reminded. x

  7. Ah Ms Tait ,what a thoroughly FAB sounding night ! And I am sooo jealous lol - we too used to enjoy nights like these before the Children Thang kicked in and Oh,how I need one of those nights now - but I'm glad that you & Mr Builder have had one , you have done it for all of us lol : D

  8. How is it I am LIVING with my parents and we haven't managed to snag a night out like that? Sounds fabulous. So glad you had one.

  9. I wish I had been there! Sounds like a stellar event :)

  10. What fun. I'm jealous. The only friend I have that'll do that with me lives in San Fransisco, almost 1500 miles from me. Sound like it was definitely worth slogging through the bad weather for so much fun.

  11. That sounds like an amazing night! What fun!

  12. Sounds wunderbar! A night of merriment sans children, a minimalist apartment without plastic toy boxes and Dire Straits karaoke. Its been a long time between drinks...
    My name is Juliet and 11+ years ago while working in a bar in a small Scottish town about a dozen airforce guys drunkenly serenaded me with Dire Straits 'Romeo and Juliet' with particular emphasis on the line 'when we made love you used to cry'. Not quite Tom Cruise in Top Gun but as close as I'll get!

  13. I've had this urge to karaoke lately. Now it's grown even bigger!

    Laughter with friends is the best!

    xo Susie


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