‘I hit "world’s worst city’s" karaoke bar and released my inner Jarvis Cocker’

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    Described by former Hull KR player Willie Mason as the "world's worst city", the sights and sounds of the former European city of culture have much to offer.

    From its fine selection of coffee shops doubling as record stores to an aquarium which has deep sea favourites like sharks, penguins and frogs, life in Hull is quite the treat.

    But where Mr Mason may not have flourished during his 11-game stint at the Kingston Rovers, those who move there seeking pastures new and karaoke trips are in for a treat.

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    Look no further than Vox Box, the shining light of a booze-packed street in Newland Avenue, the city's first fully-fledged private karaoke booth location, where your inner pop star can flourish.

    Enter on in to the neon lights which look closer to Las Vegas strip than Newland Avenues and up those stairs to the booths operated by Matthew Elms and Jack Mangan.

    Now offering up a range of quality grub befitting a karaoke bar — fries, chicken thighs and halloumi sticks are up for grabs — lining your stomach with delightful food is a wise move before trying to tackle new tracks from the Arctic Monkeys.

    Seven enter, two left early for fear of where the night would take them and five trooped on, three ending their evening in a casino, struggling to grasp the rules of three card poker while taking full advantage of the burgers and beer on offer.

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    But those two hours before provided clear glimmers of hopeful music stardom, and a particularly striking cover of The Beatles' I Am The Walrus.

    For those more inclined to modern tunes, or at the very least the mid-1990s, the venue itself and the karaoke platform installed has more than a handful of crowd pleasing tracks.

    Disco 2000 is much more of a joy when belted out by Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker than a journalist who had downed a bottle of wine before heading into the venue, while The Real Slim Shady is a tricky track for those tongue tied by Tequila Rose.

    An arena-like focus comes through those booths, and the fear to perform is stripped away by the very comfortable environment Vox Box creates.

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    It always helps when crisps are on offer, of course, but so too does hearing someone try and fail to remember all the words to Black Lace's Agadoo.

    Karaoke depends on camaraderie, the implication of looking a fool on the grounds everyone else will also, and you most certainly will, it is all part of the fun.

    Vox Box is the perfect place for it, and where it matters most — in music selection, good grub and drinks — it excels, and for those who dabble in the drink and dance often, they may run into those wanting to replicate their idols.

    Few venues in the "world's worst city" offer up a stage on which you will not have food or bottles thrown at you for flubbing the words to Scott Walker's The Seventh Seal, although performing that in public is a bold move to begin with.

    Anyone will think they are the flagbearer for a new era of music after a few Guinness, and with a shtick like that in the glass, it is hard not to keep them flowing in one of Hull's finest venues.

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