Skip navigation.


Banka hrane

Srbija 2020

Karaoke od Srbije do Tokija

Karaoke od Srbije do Tokija: Wednesday night. Men in skirts. A drunken crowd sings at the top of its voice to songs that, for the most part, you thought and hoped you had forgotten. A middle aged man sweats over a microphone he doesn’t realise isn’t working. He’s giving it all he’s gKaraoke od Srbije do Tokija: Wednesday night. Men in skirts. A drunken crowd sings at the top of its voice to songs that, for the most part, you thought and hoped you had forgotten. A middle aged man sweats over a microphone he doesn’t realise isn’t working. He’s giving it all he’s gWednesday night. Men in skirts. A drunken crowd sings at the top of its voice to songs that, for the most part, you thought and hoped you had forgotten. A middle aged man sweats over a microphone he doesn’t realise isn’t working. He’s giving it all he’s got to some B52s, oblivious to the fact. Or perhaps he knows and is just looking for an excuse for some air-microphone action to Love Shack. There’s a party mood in the place and the crowd wait with an air of expectation for the latest take on Suspicious Minds. Karaoke fever has struck Belgrade like a wave and there’s no escaping the undertow that’s going to drag you in front of that karaoke mike whether you think you want to or not; if not that night, then the next.

The Scottish Pub seemed to have had a strange effect on people (perhaps it’s the kilts?) but as I was to find out only four days later, karaoke is a strange phenomenon and it’s reach is long, as it struck again, this time at Ana 4 Pistols. The problem with Ana was that its rather cool crowd didn’t seem to appreciate the unashamed camp of karaoke. Some girls didn’t help the matter by taking to the stage to sing a painfully lame rendition of Sweet Child of Mine. It had, at times, been painful at the Scottish Pub, but everyone had been enjoying themselves too much to notice too much, at Ana however, those special karaoke moments were met with stony silence and folded arms that even our very own Axl Rose couldn’t dispel. Despite the Ana crowd however the rise of the phenomenon from Japan was evident everywhere I went in Belgrade last week and on Sunday I saw yet another karaoke night, this time advertised at some small bar in Dorcol.

It makes sense though, as karaoke seems to suit Serbs perfectly. Serbs love to sing and will do so at the drop of a hat. Serbs seem to be able to give themselves totally to singing in a way that they aren’t when it comes to dancing. It doesn’t matter how well they sing, just that they do. Whilst we English can barely pluck up the courage to sing a carol, Serbs will happily sing you a bar or three of any popular Serbian or foreign song you care to name and they happen to know. Don’t concern yourself with the lyrics or the melody, just belt it out and enjoy yourself whilst doing so. And that I suppose is the essence of karaoke. So I imagine one shouldn’t be surprised at the proliferation of karaoke nights in Belgrade.

My problem is that I really want to have a go, but don’t seem to have the courage to sing. My reticence isn't helped by the fact that my singing voice is not intended for public consumption. The closest I have come recently to a bit of karaoke was singing into a remote control in my living room. There had been an audience, a small one admittedly (barely above one actually), but it had been an audience nonetheless. If I could just translate this will to perform into a Scottish Pub reality then I’d be away. I need to take a more Serbian attitude to singing. The problem is that I’m not Serbian and we English aren’t really renown for our outward displays of emotion. And karaoke, for me, falls into that category. But where to find the inspiration, the bottom of a pint glass aside, to take to the stage and ride Belgrade’s karaoke wave?

Where better to find the inspiration to sing than from a man from the birthplace of karaoke. It had been during a recent visit to Graceland with George W. Bush that Japan’s now former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi provided me with the inspiration I was looking for with a rendition of Love Me Tender for the astounded press and family. All that was lacking was a mike in his hand, although tens of microphones ensured the moment was captured for posterity. Koizumi fearlessly belted out the Elvis classic and he was Japanese. If it wasn’t a loss of face for the premier of a country whose people place such emphasis on social etiquette I shouldn’t face too many fears taking to the stage. Just pick up the microphone and think of Koizumi.

Perhaps Prime Minister Kostunica could provide the same inspiration to Serbia’s growing numbers of karaoke voters. It didn’t do anything to damage Koizumi’s reputation, although admittedly he was on the way out, and if my experience last week of the rise of karaoke is any indication, it might be an easy matter for Kostunica to win some Blue Suede Votes with a touch of karaoke.

i used to work

in a karaoke bar in japan. drunken japanese yuppies singing. horror. for years i tried to block those memories out....

Sorry old chap

Sorry for re-kindling such painful memories.
Perhaps you should exorcise your demons by taking the plunge yourself?

uhm, yeah.... i'm an old lass

i don't think they like chaps as hostesses over there ;)

anyhoo, they did make me "take the plunge", that was the painful part....


"...Serbs love to sing and will do so at the drop of a hat. Serbs seem to be able to give themselves totally to singing in a way that..."
I went to see Breaking and Entering the other day. There was a scene where Juliette Binoche with the rest of Bosnian refugees of London sang in trance "Bjelo Janje". My husband said: "See how they look like? Just think of this scene when you feel like singing in front of English people next time...". "I don't give a sh*t! Singing is my psychotherapy."
It is an emotional ventilation. I recommend it.

It is an emotional ventilation

I absolutely agree.

My friends and family often tell me off when I start singing, but what the hack!
When I am angry, sad or whatever, I just play some CD, volume to the maximum and start screaming. None of the neighbours dares come and tell me to shut up. And I just love it.
Yes, that's us Serbs.

Brazilian girl

My singing activities are limited my leisure time and/or after dark. There are some more extreme examples than us. I was working for a month with a Brazilian girl in an otherwise dead-serious office. Imagine an atmosphere of a research fellow office at the cancer hospital in the UK, where in a corner she was constantly high on various artists. She recognised me instictively as an alien.


nevideh te od proslog petka...

Hvala za movie!

Jel' moze i sledeci put neka preporuka :)


Max the movie fan


Max the movie fan

This is a blog in English.
...And "nevideh" should be "ne videh". Where did you go to school?
Check out Angel-A, Luc Besson. It will match your pseudo name nicely.

Dear Ana,

It was a while when I/we went to school...:(. I was never good at srpskohrvatski. Actually I'm bad at languages generally. Even English I find quite difficult. :(

Forgive my grammar, and thanks for the movie hints.

MaxMagnus -----> La Mala Education

p.s. What do you do for a job? :)

Nicholas you made me laugh.

Nicholas you made me laugh. You said that you'd actually like to sing, but you don't have the courage to do so. I completely understand that feeling, I have to say. I used to feel the same about karaoke..and singing-the worst nightmare. The recipe for overcoming the fear would be-a few friends to give you support, to cheer for you, and if necessary few tequilas before the singing part. That worked for me when I first sang karaoke. Just give it a shot, that's what I said to myself. What's the worst thing that could happen to you? Well, maybe you might look funny, but who cares when everybody is having a good time, right? Right. So-give it a shot, take the mike and pretend you're somebody else for a few minutes, good luck!!!

Now then Nick, Anytime

Now then Nick,
Anytime you're up for it, give me a buzz and I'll show you how to take the Belgrade karaoke world by storm ... sober or ratted.

I might well take you up on that

Hopefully see you at the Blog meeting and we can arrange it then. Thanks for the offer.

you people

have blog meetings? wow, that's serious business, blogs are....

Blog meetings? No, no.

Blog meetings? No, no. Nicholas was just kidding. No strategic blog planning going on here, honest.

of course not!

Everyone likes a good tune

and 5 minutes of fame.
My friend is constantly humming or properly singing songs on the streets, at home, at work, and looooves the karaoke.
His boyfriend hates him for all but the karaoke practices, uptight ol' drama queen.
Boyfriend's mother shares the passion of singing (mostly Broadway musical themes). When the boyfriend dissed both the mother and my friend for too much singing around the house, the mother packed her bags immediately and told the friend: "come to Florida with me: we'll relax by the pool, drink coctails, and sing our a$$es off".

I like the karaoke. Even those who claim they hate it and would never try it sooner or later get hooked on the "pretend rock stardom" (it's mostly the cheesy 80's that get everyone going though).

And I would like to mention that I have yet to meet the more musical nation than the Brits. Amazing!

'we English aren’t really

'we English aren’t really renown for our outward displays of emotion'

Nicholas havent you ever been clubbing up north? I'm sure Mark can set you straight on this. :)

I gotta solution straight from the English larger lout lexicon - just keep knocking them back, in the end you will stand up and sing... oh yes you will.


Funny little story, in deed... :)

Funny little Japanese too... :)

Now, after reading this blog, in my mind there's
one karaoke scene from one great movie
"Lost in translation"... :)

I don't like listening to people who "do" karaoke but I totally agree with Anna: singing is excellent cure for the stress, so people, sing as often as you can... !
and don't be afraid of doing it, even in public, trust me, do not care about what others may think of you, you'll be much relaxed, more positive and happier...

…sing loosy, sing badly, sing anything instead of cursing, swearing, fighting and always arguing with others about unimportant things just to express your "inner mess”...

I enjoy reading poetry but when it comes to the singing I think that lyrics aren't that important (!!!) and you can always use scat while singing any melody instead of it. scat, you know, like "ram-pam-pam" "nah-nah-nah", etc. (it's often used in a jazz music, I'm sure that many of you have heard how better, stronger, greater madam Fitzgerald sounds in the standard "blue skies" on that part without words... incredible!)