Massaoke (3 stars)

This article is from 2016


Communal singalong is a good end-of-the-night party

Picture the scene: you're alone on stage, wailing and flailing about to the closing bars of David Bowie's offbeat classic 'Life On Mars', and from the corner of your eye you watch your Tinder date wander off into the night, disgusted by your inability to stay on key. Despite the devotion of her flock, karaoke can be a cruel mistress.

Well, it doesn't have to be that way. At the Fringe, all singers are equal, because they're all singing at the same time. With a live band, lyrics projected onto a big screen and a party atmosphere, Massaoke is the ultimate singalong club. A late night free-for-all group karaoke session led by an indomitable band of musicians ready to lead their crowd in vocal heroics, Massaoke is an ideal way to end a night at the festival.

With special guests each night (previous appearances have included Phill Jupitus, Al Murray and Aisling Bea) to spur you on, the setlist provides an indulgent tour through pop history, from Bon Jovi's 'Living On A Prayer' and Dexy's Midnight Runners' wedding dancefloor hit 'Come on Eileen' to breakup anthem 'Nothing Compares 2 U' by Sinead O'Connor. There are obvious choices in the band's repertoire – I think everybody knew that Britney's 'Baby One More Time' was going to come up at some point – and that detracts a little from the voyeuristic fun to be had from watching the Russian Roulette involved in a genuine solo karaoke session.

While their closing double-whammy of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and The Proclaimers' '500 Miles' may have been a predictable brace for the end of the night, Massaoke is a hell of a closing act for any given night at the Fringe.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 28 Aug (not 15 & 16, 22 & 23), midnight, £6–£12.50.


  • 3 stars

Friday I'm In Love Back after a sell-out run in 2015, Massaoke is the epic late night party where the crowd belts out huge pop, rock and indie anthems led by a brilliant live band and lyrics on a giant screen. It’s a regular hang out for comedians too, with well-known guest stars like Ed Byrne, Al Murray, Phill Jupitus…