There are some crappy things about living in London, but we're also often very, very spoiled. I went to the latest Karaoke Circus on Wednesday, which has made a quite significant leap from a tiny room downstairs at the Albany to the legendary 100 Club. After last time's joyous, magical affair, I have to say I was slightly concerned that it couldn't be matched and not only that, but that the show would lose something by moving to a bigger room. But in fact, it was just the same. The atmosphere was just as wonderful, the audience once again more than happy to join in, and performances equally special.
But this time, the band was expanded to a full orchestra, allowing for some pretty ambitious song-choices. Being the Macca fan I am, it was a joy to hear Live and Let Die performed with strings and horns, and Waen Shepherd fronted an astonishing version on Rock and Roll Suicides. The award for bravery, however, simply has to go to an audience member for choosing to go for MacArthur Park ("someone left the cake out in the rain") - though no-one could argue with the judge's decision in terms of the winner. That rare accolade went to Angel who performed Beastie Boys' Sabotage with what can only be described as true chutzpah.
The other celebs and comedians on the bill included (big breath) Bridget Christie channelling Kate Bush with worrying accuracy, the Penny Dreadfuls tearing up Under Pressure (take that as you will), the legend that is Kevin Eldon mashing up One Day Like This and Hey Jude (identical chord progression, it would appear), poet John Hegley displaying one hell of a voice with Sunny Side Of The Street, the wonderful Andrew Collins dropping an octave to perform Tom Waits's Way Down In The Hole, Peep Show's Isy Suttie smiling her way through Piano Man and Miles Jupp bringing it all to a singalong end with Come On Eileen.
Oddest, and simultaneously most brilliant of all, however, was the appearance of Gary Richardson. Gary Richardson! The BBC Sport guy! Singing, of all things, Daydream Believer! Read Mr Collins's great blog post about it if you think I dreamt it. I didn't. It happened. (In fact, read the blog anyway - there are photos too.)
This did feel more like a 'proper gig' than the previous Karaoke Circus, so huge kudos to Martin and Danielle for retaining that wonderful atmosphere - I didn't actually think it possible. If anyone's going to Latitude, the circus will be rolling into town on the Sunday, and then there'll be more comedy karaoke at the Edinburgh Fringe. Neither of which I can make. Dammit...