Redbox Goes Redbox

Lisa and I didn’t plan it – it was just a spur of the moment idea. Like all ideas for fun, I was thinking of doing something different this Raya holiday. And vegetating in front of the TV watching old P.Ramlee movies just didn’t sound like much fun although I love those old black-and-white movies (funnier than those awful Scenario movies any day!).
We decided to head for Redbox at Gurney Plaza to sing our hearts’ out last night. For me, this was quite funny because here we were (Nic and I) of Redbox Studio going with Lisa to Red Box Karaoke! Definitely something to remember! (I say this because lots of people mistake us for Red Box the Karaoke. It’s not even funny anymore. But we do get a kick out of explaining that we registered the name Redbox Studio back in 1998 way before this Hong Kong business came to Malaysia.)
Lisa had booked a room yesterday morning so it was just a matter of getting the two perky, Hongkie-like reception girls to confirm our booking and send us along to Singing Haven (actually, it was Room 58). We decided it was going to be a splurge and took the dinner buffet package at RM42++ per person. (In the end, with titbits which you must order, the whole night of karaoke-ing cost us each RM58.)
(As an aside, what is it with Red Box and the Canto-speaking staff? I’m Cantonese too but I would have thought their staff would at least speak Hokkien – this is Penang, not Tsim Tsar Tsui – or Mandarin. But no, they TOOK every opportunity to speak Cantonese! Probably they were trained to do so, Nic says.Still, it was disturbing to hear Cantonese spoken with such mad enthusiasm!)
And so Lisa and I began our 4-hour Happy Hour singing marathon. Oh, the songs we chose were so reminiscent of our upbringing and eras! Tellingly, we chose songs which we liked, but that didn’t mean we sang them well! Lisa loved Barry Manilow so she started off with a few Manilow songs while I chose songs which reminded me of growing up in the 70s and 80s. We enthusiastically did Ricky Martin’s Ale ale ale World Cup song and we sang Copacobana with wild abandon. We tried a few golden oldies – those sad love songs which bordered on soppiness but we couldn’t care less. It was our Happy Hour, it was our room for the night and we were there to de-stress!
Nic was happily having his extended dinner from the buffet line and commenting that the food was actually delicious despite being a bit over-salty. The buffet wasn’t exceptionally large but offered a range of salads, rice, noodles, cakes, ice cream to herbal soups! I don’t want to speculate if their chinese herbal soup has much ajinomoto but it sure was piping hot and great to soothe parched throats after singing!
What I didn’t like was the titbits charges – RM7 per person for some pathetic murukku and chips. What I didn’t like was that their staff kept barging into our room and this happened about 4-5 times for one reason or another. They came in to clear our plates, they came in to ask if we wanted to apply for the Red Box member card, they came in to give us the application form etc. Couldn’t these be done at the front desk later? Don’t spoil the mood, man!
At the end of the 4-hours, we still hadn’t had enough of singing. Lisa tried to end the session with a few firm favourites (“Oh you must do Celine Dion’s My Heart Must Go on, it’s absolutely must!”) and we tried some Malay numbers too. I wanted Peterpan’s songs but couldn’t find them in time. We did manage to sing Hijau, Lagenda, Sinaran and Ikhlas Tapi Jauh though. Damn I feel old. We did manage to do Hoobastank’s The Reason and Avril’s Complicated, both angst-ridding songs which is so superb for yelling one’s lungs out. OK, that put me back firmly as a child of this era.
And yes, we did Abba’s Dancing Queen too.

7 thoughts on “Redbox Goes Redbox”

  1. Hey lady.. how come I didn’t know you and Nic are game for karaoke? The next time we get together, in KL or Penang, can we slot this into our agenda? I love karaoke for I love to sing. In fact have one mini karaoke system at home and when the blues come a calling.. the mike comes out and I would croon and swoon to my hearts content. But then again nothing beats the high-tech stuff and sound system one finds in a karaoke joint. If music be the food of love, then sing on…

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  2. Karaoke is making a comeback. Some outlets are promoting it as a family activity now, making the joints bright and breezy instead of the dark, seedy images of yore. Sounds like you’ve had a wonderful time. Once in a blue moon, I also go karaokeing with my friends and we always have a blast, despite some of us having frog voices and singing out of tune.

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  3. Oh! karaoke’s good for beating stress too i’ll say, just a couple of weeks ago, sis and i had such a stresful time, right after our last appointment we head for a cheapo karaoke, sorta like phone booth with a tv and 2 bar stools. it’s called songbox! literally! RM1 per song! haha! sang our lungs out! yeah… celine dion and michael bolton… yeah… we felt olddd too! *sniffle* we sounded horrible, we were silly, but who cares! we had fun! jolly good fun. 8 songs later, we were laughing our way home! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Hi Kate: Well, I never found the right company to go karaoke with! Nic doesn’t like it much – he’s tone-deaf anyway. But on a whim, Lisa and I decided, heck, just go and book a room and just sing. OK, next time you’re in Penang, let’s go for Happy Hour at Redbox!
    Hi Lydia: Yes, it is a wonderful de-stressor and I had a great time (what with it being the first day of Raya and all). It’s good, clean fun too. And yes, better than those awful seedy joints of the yesteryears.

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  5. Hi Matrianklw: Yes, neither did I. Go during the lunch specials… much cheaper than the Happy Hour! What is it with singing that attracts us all? Must be the hidden ‘singer wannabe’ in all of us.
    Hi Alison: Yes, the Songboxes are here in Bukit Jambul Complex, Penang too. Go for the RedBox private rooms. Nice sound system, great sofas for lounging, dozens of songs, English, Hindi, Malay, Chinese… whatever you want. Lisa and I acted like kids in a candystore… every song also we want though whether we could sing them was another matter! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  6. Just come to my class next week. I have to teach a topic on music and it’s ALL based around Celion Dion.
    I’ve heard that blasted ‘My Heart Will Go On’ about 30 times in the last year (coz I have to play it 3 times in one lesson – twice so they can fill in the words and the last time so they can sing to it).
    After that we analyse her via her biography!

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