America, Countries, Culture

Rainy Days and Songdays – Lady Marmalade in Orlando

I still feel to this day that I was stitched up… in Orlando.

Our hosts Natatlie and Fiona had plied us all with Hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s bar and shots at Rising Star both on CityWalk

And then invited us to fill out a form from the menu of songs and submit our requests for the karaoke bar.

Now this karaoke bar is like nothing I’ve ever seen. There must have been about 2,000 people there.

There was the compere who could sing and throw shapes and two leggy lovely backing singers.

I knew I was in trouble when fellow Glaswegian Bev who was in our party declared that her karaoke song was Rainy Days and Mondays by The Carpenters.

If I was a Carpenter

And if you feel you can do justice to just about the greatest female voice in pop history in Karen Carpenter then you can clearly sing.

Walking on water: The Lowes Portofino in Orlando

It all came flooding back to me this week when I followed Bev on her Sbowbiz Lion website where she was singing like a nightingale, this time a moving version of Judy Garland’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Again aiming high and nailing it.

And thanks for the shout-out and here I’m only too happy to reciprocate.

Back to Orlando and my new pal introduced herself as ‘Bev from Glasgow’ giving it the obligatory ‘Hello Orlando’.

Me, Bev and Eoin attack a Hurricane

Before working the compere and the backing singers into her routine, moving those arms like pistons as she rocked the place with Tina Turner’s Proud Mary.

Of course I would have to be next, singing Patti LaBelle’s Lady Marmalade.

Nailing a girls’ song

The compere kindly told the crowd after I’d murdered the song that ‘that was how a man sings a girls’ song.’

And a couple on our boat trip back to our hotel, the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, were gracious enough to congratulate me on my efforts. Americans really do do manners well.

Homer boy: And Bart too

As a postscript myself and my Sunday paper workmate and showbiz writer Eoin Murphy did The Killers and Mr Brightside later in the week.

I was lucky enough to get back to Orlando the following year to bookend my Aaawlando… Orlando, the rollercoaster capital See off Voldemort, then for a beer at Moe’s and trip.

With Why I love The Donald and

But whether the word had been put out to stop me singing again but we didn’t take in the Rising Star on that trip.

Eoin had occasion to interview Brandon Flowers a couple of years later when he told him about our duet to which The Great Man just rolled his eyes.

So he knows me then.

Killer tune

And maybe some day soon I’ll telll you about how I was so nervous at the possibility of meeting him (Brandon that is, not Eoin) that I queued an hour and a half before everyone else and almost lost my place because I had to keep going to the hotel.

A hero with a cloak: At Harry Potter’s favourite pub with the butter beer

Alas, it wasn’t Brandon who was playing but another less well-known singer.

I had hoped to meet him in Las Vegas, a city I love and have unfinished business in Strip… the light fantastic and this year but alas that wasn’t to be but there’s always next year.

Watch out for the boys’ new album Imploding the Mirage which comes out on May 28.

While I can’t imagine that nobody has offered my old pal Bev a contract. I’d pay to see her, but I wouldn’t blame her if it wasn’t mutual.


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