Jason Allen 19/04/23
Organoke | Sing-A-Long Bangers With A Twist
Everyone loves a big organ.
And the one in St Giles’ Camberwell is huge.
All the better then to bang out some tunes for a night of Organoke this June. And yes, Organoke is exactly what it sounds like – a portmanteau of ‘organ karaoke’, in which a classically trained organist quite literally pulls out the stops to provide live accompaniment for a raucous evening of sing-a-long bangers, all backed up by a full band, while people sing, dance, drink, and generally soak up the euphoria.
The concept has been running strong since its inception in 2016, and, aside from its most recent foray to Battersea Arts Centre, always takes place here at St. Giles’. It’s a stunningly grand church that’s technically been here for over 1000 years, but the current building was designed in 1844 by George Gilbert Scott (the fella behind the huge, gothic hotel by St. Pancras). And it’s the historic organ here that started it all: Organoke was thought up as a way to raise funds for its restoration, and the vicar was so on board he bought mini-fridges for all the beer.
Next taking place on 3rd & 4th June, Organoke will, as always, be hosted by the inimitable Ida Barr, an old school Energizer Bunny of an M.C. who shakes off their age and gets the room roaring in unison like you wouldn’t believe. The all-important organ will be jockeyed by classically trained maestro Ashley Valentine, and the proceedings will be split into two halves: first, there’ll be a mass sing-a-long to classic tunes, then a short break, and finally the second half will involve requests (randomly drawn from a hat) in which people will be invited to come up and sing on stage with the band.
You will drink, you will dance in the aisles, and you will throw your arms around the shoulders of strangers.
Just a typical night in a Victorian church then, really.
NOTE: Organoke next takes place on 3rd & 4th June at St Giles’ Camberwell. Tickets (£25/26pp) go on sale 21st April – nab yours HERE.
Organoke | St Giles’, Camberwell Church St, London SE5 8RB
Looking for a permanent karaoke spot? Take your pick from the best karaoke bars in London…
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St Giles' Church, Camberwell Church Street, Camberwell, SE5 8RB
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