Author: Ian Smith

The Valley Fiesta Karaoke Band

live band karaoke

OK, if you’re looking for Valley Fiesta Karaoke this year, you are going to be disappointed… Because this year it’s karaoke with a LIVE BAND.  That’s right, we at Rockaoke Australia are PUMPED up and ready to rock this years Valley Fiesta, Brisbane’s biggest street party.  We are giving you the chance to sing with a live band, on a big stage, in front of hundreds of people for an experience only previously reserved for rock stars.  The Valley Fiesta Karaoke band is going to make this years festival even more memorable, because you and your friends are basically part of the entertainment.  How cool is that?

This gig is such a buzz for us as as well, as we have been big fans of this festival for years now, and we know how much fun everyone has!  Here are some more details for anyone wanting to join us on stage, or for anyone who just wants to have a good time:

WHERE: It’s all happening in Chinatown Mall for the Chinatown Chow Down

WHEN: Saturday 23rd August

WHAT TIME: from 6pm finishing at 10pm

You do have to pre-register your song request and time slot though.  Please head to the Valley Fiestas Facebook page, fill out the basic form and then make sure you are there for the party!

It’s going to be a fantastic evening, with pop up bars, delicious Asian cuisine, various cultural performances and of course, you guys as the main act to make this Asian street party go off!  If you really want to make the most out of the day, make sure you take advantage of the amazing banquet sittings on offer, they are only $30 per head, and we can tell you from first hand experience, the food is incredible!   You can find out more here if you like.

The Associates will also be doing some cover sets during the day from 12:15, so you may as well make a day of it (and warm your vocal chords up at the same time)!  Remember, the festival itself is all FREE, so come down, grab something to eat, have a few drinks, enjoy the entertainment and of course, get up on stage and sing a song with us!!

While you’re at it, make sure you share all your photos with us on Twitter or Instagram #Rockaokeaus and #Valleyfiesta

If you have any questions, feel free to shoot us an email or a Facebook message

live band karaoke


Top 5 Rockaoke Songs

live band karaoke top songs

rock band karaoke top 5
So we have done some counting!  Since the start of 2013, we have gone through all the requests of over 150 gigs and figured out the most requested and played songs at Rockaoke Australia gigs.  You won’t find any Sinatra or Celine here that’s for sure!   The top Rockaoke songs might surprise a few people.  The insatiable Billy Idol has been given the nod by all you live band karaoke singers, taking out the number 1 spot in the first ever Rockaoke chart.  At some gigs, this song was requested up to 5 times (In one night).  Back in 2012, the 2 top songs were in fact ‘Kryptonite’ by 3 Doors Down and ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele.  Anyway, check out our Top 5 and let us know what you think:

live band karaoke top 5

These were closely followed by ‘Kryptonite’, ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, ‘April Sun in Cuba’, Who Knew’ and ‘Hit me with your best shot’.

In coming posts, we are going to figure out the Top male, female and duet songs as well so stay tuned!

Meanwhile, please check out our set list and see what you think.  If there are some songs you think will be great to add, you can request them here as well.


Christmas party ideas

live band karaoke Christmas party ideas

10 reasons why Rockaoke will ROCK your Christmas party

Yes that’s right, it’s June and we are talking about Christmas party ideas.  Well these days, you need to get your Christmas party ideas sorted early before all the good entertainment is booked!  Here at Rockaoke Australia HQ, we are very passionate about providing the best NEW entertainment possible to our clients.  To achieve this, we have worked really hard on creating a fresh approach to providing party bands.  Live band karaoke has really evolved into a whole new genre of entertainment.  Put simply, we are not just a bunch of guys playing instruments while we pluck random singers out of the audience.  We put on a ROCKING SHOW which allows you and your guests to be at the forefront of the entertainment.  Rockaoke takes the party band formula and adds a whole new interactive level!  Here are 10 reasons why booking Rockaoke Australia will be one of the best Christmas party ideas you’ve ever had:

  1. People love Karaoke

That’s right; everyone loves karaoke… That’s until drunken billy gets up to sing an Engelbert Humperdinck song and drives the audience bonkers! OK, so not everyone can sing.  We know that all too well here at Rockaoke.  You see, we are all about the entertainment!  Whether you can sing, can’t sing or think you can sing, we adapt the show accordingly so the audience are enjoying themselves from the first song to the encore!  Most people love a good karaoke night and we embrace all levels from first timers to professional singers.  But with Rockaoke, we take karaoke to the next level and let the singers experience the thrill of a live band backing them. This means we can make great singers shine and horrible singers sound good as well.  We basically take the best elements of karaoke and amplify them, while removing the annoying parts.  But what we are all about is the experience!

  1. New experience

Previously, singing with a live band to an audience was something many people only dreamed of doing.  When karaoke came along, a lot of people could show off their skills, but still it was singing to a backing track.  Rockaoke lets you unleash your inner rock star and dive full throttle into an absorbing once-in-a-lifetime musical experience.  Singing in front of your own band has now become not only a reality, but easy as well.  You don’t even have to remember the lyrics!!

  1. Follow the lyrics on a screen

We have created our own technology to let both the singers and the audience sing the lyrics to the songs, all in perfect time with the band!  This has really been a revelation and has taken our show to another level!  There is something quite powerful about an entire audience singing with the band!  Now you can experience what this is like from the stage.  We can tell you, it is hair-raising!

  1. Rocking Party Band

The band themselves are made up of professional musicians who have played with many popular acts and have performed hundreds of live band karaoke shows all around the world.  They now make Australia their home and are ready to ROCK YOUR WORLD!  Not only do they perform as YOUR band, they can play plenty of party music themselves to warm up the audience, keep the party going and help the singers along the way.  They also rock out all the popular Christmas songs putting this concept at the top of the Christmas party ideas stocking list!

  1. Hilarious MC

Throughout the night, you are entertained by our incredible singer and MC.  He not only guides the singers through their song choices and offers help on stage if needed, he provides non-stop entertainment throughout the event.  Guys will be falling off their chairs in laughter while all the girls will be lining up under the mistletoe!

  1. Capturing the moment

Not only will your guests have a great night performing to all their friends and colleagues, we organise professional photography to capture the unforgettable moments.  We can also organise filming to really take your rock star experience to the next level and help make this one of the most rocking Christmas party ideas ever.

  1. Bring people together with music

It can’t be denied that everyone loves to sing; either by themselves, with a band, karaoke or just singing along at a gig.  The power of this feeling can’t be underestimated.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow summed it up nicely when he said that “Music is the universal language of mankind.”   Here at Rockaoke, we embody that sentiment.  Nothing unites a group of people more than performing together.  No doubt, your guests will be raving about this concept for a long time to come – And it will be because they had a great time, together.

  1. Opens more Rockaoke party ideas

There are so many other ways of conducting Rockaoke Christmas party ideas as well.  We have run many corporate singing competitions or in-house Idols.  This is a great way to showcase some of the hidden talent inside your organisation and it so much fun.  Rockaoke is also perfect for fundraising initiatives whereby guests donate money for the song they want to sing.  It’s great with an auction as well.  There are also themed nights that work well.  You might want to try a rock star Christmas party idea, or a daggy 80’s Christmas theme.  We also have over 200 songs to choose from and the ability to request new songs to suit your event, for instance, christmas carols (rocked up of course).  It is also great idea to spice things up and giveaway prizes for the best, worst and most entertaining singers?

  1. Other Christmas party ideas

Along with live band karaoke, our team also have created some other entertainment services the can be used either independently, or alongside our live band karaoke concept.  Along with our Team building concept, we also have a country version of live band karaoke called the Wild West Karaoke band which can further add to the uniqueness of your event.  Another popular bolt on to Rockaoke is a concept we call Beat the Band.  This is a great new twist on the classic music trivia night, with the band playing the questions live.  Another great new concept is called Musical Bingo where the DJ or band plays the music, and the audience mark the songs off as they go in order to reach bingo.  It is brand new, addictive, cool, interactive and you can find out more here if you like the sound of it.  All of these concepts are super fun and are amazing Christmas party ideas that will make your event stand out from the crowd.

  1. Makes your event STAND OUT

Ultimately, we aim to provide fresh and exciting entertainment that will make your event, function, fundraiser, gala dinner or private party stand out from the rest!  We always work very closely with our clients to deliver the most enjoyable musical experience possible and ensure the quality of the acts are of the highest standard and the fun is turned up to maximum.  This is why we believe that Rockaoke is one of the best Christmas party ideas you’ll ever see.

If this sounds like something that is going to blow your mind (trust us, it will), then we would love to hear from you!  Until then, we hope to see you on stage, rocking the house down!

christmas party ideas live band karaoke


Live band karaoke and lyrics

rockaoke australia lyrics

The story behind the technology – Live band karaoke and lyrics. 

This is a little story about how we refined our live band karaoke lyrics experience and how we believe we made it a WINNING product!  You see, Live band karaoke gigs can be precarious at times.  There are so many factors that go in to making a band sound tight, perform well and sound great.  These mainly come from rehearsals.  But with Rockaoke gigs, the singers have never rehearsed with the band before.  This was one of the main reasons why in London, so many musicians just couldn’t deal with this idea.  At the time, I was in one of them.  So how did we resolve this matter to make Rockaoke enjoyable for everyone?

looking at lyrics on a pageFirstly, we all realised that the biggest barrier lay in the fact that most people can’t remember lyrics.  So we thought, hey, simple, let’s print them out on paper for people to read.  We did this for 3 years in the UK.  But as we got more and more gigs under our belt, we started to see this work against us.  Don’t get me wrong, it worked well for the singers who really knew their stuff.  But that was only a small percentage of them; most punters really couldn’t remember the structure of the song.   And why would they?  That is always the bands job, we could never expect punters to remember where the bridge is, how long the solo is, where to cut out, how long the 3rd chorus is and so on.  Our singers were getting frustrated that lyrics would stop on the paper, or that the band wouldn’t let them know what was coming up.  As you can appreciate, these are things that are ironed out during rehearsals, not during a gig.  As band members, we spent more time pointing to lyrics on a music stand and yelling directions (over loud music) instead of playing our instruments.  To be honest, this frustrated the heck out of me.  I wanted to make sure that we put on the best show as possible and you can’t do that if you are trying to baby foot the singer around.  This is not the singers fault at all, they are not professional singers, they are not expected to memorise lyrics and know a song back to front.  Something had to change.


Coming back to Australia, my mate Andy and I set our sights on developing a system in which could help all singers sing the song while not having to remember the structure of the song., basically, when and when not to sing.  It took us over a year, and I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty details, but we devised a way for the bands to play in sync with a video that displayed the lyrics on the go.  The videos themselves take about 2 hours each to produce, so hundreds of hours have been put in to this tireless endeavor.  Needless to say we couldn’t do it without a myriad of apple products (damn you apple – no thank you actually).  This unique system would highlight the lyrics at the point you needed to sing them (Just like karaoke I guess).  This is what we needed to launch Rockaoke in Australia.  We could then make it transferable so all bands can use this system.  We were also able to send the lyrics feed out into TV’s in the venue which would add something that we never realised at the time – The audience was able to sing along with the band! Genius (if I don’t say so myself).

Some people might criticise the system for “locking” the bands in to a structure.  Some musicians even believe this (I think it is because most musos are lazy and this makes us learn the song correctly…heaven forbid – Isn’t that why we get paid!) But hey, that is the small sacrifice we have to make to ensure everyone has a good time.  After all, this not Karaoke and this is not a Jam night.  This is an experience.  An experience that we have the ability and know-how to share with all lovers of music.  An experience that we have the rare opportunity to give and that makes us feel pretty proud.  But Rockaoke is really a team effort.  It is important to the integrity of the entire show that everyone is on the same page (literally).  That is why I believe you won’t get a better live band karaoke experience anywhere!

In my upcoming posts, I’ll be discussing all things that singers need and want to know about performing with a band.  I’ll be sharing some secret and some less obvious tricks of the trade to help give you all a better understanding of the inner workings of a band, and ultimately make it more fun for you guys!  Stay tuned!



Requesting new songs for the band

Here at Rockaoke Australia, we want to make the experience of singing with a band as authentic as possible.  We also want to make sure we deliver a great show every single night and entertain the entire audience.  A big part of that is ensuring that we have a good selection of popular songs that will keep the dance floor packed and everyone singing along.  We already have over 200 songs which is impressive enough, but we are scrupulous in deciding which songs make it on to our main list.  Obviously we can get away with playing different songs at different venues as well.  But we aim to have the highest quality set list possible.

Sometimes though, when you aim to please everyone, you end up disappointing many.  This is why we want to get your feedback as much as possible.  With our request a song feature, you can let us know what songs we should be adding to our list and why.  Unfortunately we can’t do every song, but with enough requests we can spend the time designing the videos, learning the songs and making sure all the bands are in the same boat.

We have had some really good requests so far that have made it on to our list permanently.  Songs like ‘Rebel Yell’ by Billy Idol, ‘Rain’ by Dragon and ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ have been big Rockaoke hits and get requested regularly at gigs.  So keep the requests coming and you never know, you might be singing your favourite song with a band live on stage at a venue near you soon!