This page is for information which applies to all our Singarounds.
Our popular Singarounds are now held in the Ballroom at The Ivy House. There is a bar in the room so you won’t miss any of the singing whilst getting another pint!
Unlike our other events, the Singarounds continue throughout the year, including in December (when we have a Seasonal Singaround!) and during the Summer.
People often ask us what a Singaround actually is – or else they confuse it with a Singalong (hey, we’re not Chas and Dave ….) or an Open Mic evening (There is no mic! There is no audience! It is NOT NOT NOT Open Mic!)
So, read on ……
What Is a Singaround?
In short, a Singaround – well, ours anyway – consists of people – or sometimes small groups of people – taking it in turns to sing a song. Don’t stop reading there!! You don’t have to sing if you don’t want to!!
Our Singaround is very informal and participative – no mics, no lights, no audience, we sing for ourselves. And we don’t sit in a circle! Though we did once have a participant who kept moving the chairs into a circle, so we had to keep changing them back …… 😀
Our Seasonal Singaround, held every year in December, has a different format as we intersperse individual songs with unison singing of carols and other seasonal songs.
What Can I Sing, Though?
You can sing whatever you like, but as we’re a folk club many people do sing folk or folk-influenced songs. If your song has a chorus or people can join in with it, all the better!
We do however ask that you don’t sing very long songs, unless you are Mike Waterson singing Tam Lin, which we can say with absolute certainty that you won’t be.
We also ask that you don’t spend more than a very short time on introducing your song. If there are a lot of people wanting to sing, a lot of talking means that other people may not get a second song during the evening, plus we want to hear singing, not talking!
If you would rather people didn’t join in when it’s “your” turn, please say so before you start, we (probably) won’t be offended …..
Songs from any country or culture are welcome! We’ve had songs in French, German, Welsh, Hebrew, Norwegian, Gaelic, Hungarian, Japanese and many other languages.
We have also had everything from hard-core traditional folk/beautiful self-penned songs to Status Quo (sorry, afraid that was Nyge and Sue aka The Goose doing a rather poor version of Down The Dustpipe) via jazz standards, so feel free to let loose – within reason …..
We do prefer it if people don’t sing really hackneyed songs (we actually half-seriously banned Scarborough Fair for a bit 🙂 ) but hey we are not the Singaround police. Well not usually. We did wince a bit at Where Have All The Flowers Gone 🙂 We don’t think it was meant to be ironic …..
Every Singaround is different, depending on who turns up on any particular evening ! Because we don’t vet anyone – or what they are going to sing – this does mean that on some evenings you may not personally enjoy some of the singers or the songs.
We feel this is a small price to pay for having an inclusive Singaround where we hope that everybody feels welcome. It also means that the evenings are usually, let’s say, varied!
How Do I Know When It’s My Turn To Sing?
You put your name on the list on the table when you arrive. If you can’t find the list, please ask somebody. If they don’t know, please ask somebody else 🙂
The order of the names is the order of singing, unless the person has gone to the bar or the loo! We will call your name when it’s your turn.
If you want to sing later in the evening, please wait and put your name on the list later. It confuses everybody if you leave a big blank space on the list with your name at the bottom of the space!
We give people one song each until we reach the end of the list, then we start again, so if you are early you are more likely to get more than one song. If there are a lot of people, though, we usually only go through once. Confusing? Nah!
If you are using an instrument (see below) and that instrument is in a case, it is very helpful if you could make sure it is a) out of its case and b) tuned if necessary before your name is called 🙂
Can I Sing With Someone Else, or with a Group of People?
Yes, of course! If there is more than one person singing together, it counts as one song per group. However the people in the group can also sing a solo song if they want, but they also have to put their names on the list separately in that case.
Hope that’s clear, it certainly hasn’t been in the past 🙂
Can I use an Instrument?
You are welcome to accompany yourself on an instrument, but this is a Singaround, so not the place for solely instrumental tunes. Nor is it a session!
If you’re looking for a session, please see our home page which has details of a local session where you can learn tunes by ear. If you’re more experienced, The Ivy House often has an Irish session on Tuesday nights and a French/Breton session on Wednesday nights. But I digress.
Can I use Words (Written, that is 🙂 )?
Yes of course! Thought it’s always impressive when people don’t have to refer to words ……
When Does The Singaround Start and Finish? Is There a Break?
The door opens at 7pm and the singing starts at 7.15pm. This means that (depending on numbers) there may be an earlier finish for people who have to work the next day.
The exact finish time will depend on how many people there are who want to sing.
Please note! We have to finish singing by 10.30pm at the latest, which is when the bar closes on Sundays. This is because the pub has to be emptied of customers by 11pm.
If there are a lot of singers, this may mean that not everybody gets a second song. The earlier you arrive, and the sooner you put your name down to sing, the more chance you have of getting a song in the second half.
We always finish with a chorus song led by the Goose.
We have a short break in the middle, usually (unless there are crowds of singers) after we have been through all the singers once. But of course you are welcome to come and go to the bar as you please during the course of the Singaround!
Please try to arrive for 7pm. We found that people were turning up later and later, which meant we were starting later and later, and so it went on.
We are now going to try start at 7.15pm whether there are only a few people there or not. Otherwise it is not fair on the people who make an effort to be there on time.
I’m Worried Everybody Else Will Be Better Than Me
Yeh, you and most of us! Really, don’t worry. Some people who come have been singing for years and are very experienced. Others have never sung in public before. Others have but are still terrified every time. Some people hide it better than others ….. It’s like anything, it gets easier the more you do it. You’ve got to start somewhere …..
I’d Really Like To Sing at a “Proper” Goose Gig in Front of an Audience!
Well, you can always come and do a floorspot at one of our club nights.
We don’t vet our club night floorsingers, but we do ask that you feel that you are ready for and capable of singing in front of a paying audience, and that you can do it without referring to words – on paper or a phone!
A number of people have gone on to get “proper” booked gigs with the Goose after first coming to our Singarounds or doing a floorspot – we’re always on the lookout for talent!
In fact, you are more likely to get a gig quickly this way, as we usually have a massive backlog of demo CDs to wade through. Please don’t be offended if you don’t, though. We only run nine club nights and nine concerts a year (with occasionally an extra one-off event), and we can’t book everybody!
I Don’t Want To Sing At All!
If you want to come and just listen, of course that’s absolutely fine too – we don’t want to make anybody feel uncomfortable, or feel that they have to sing. You don’t! Though we hope if you’re a bit shy that at some stage you’ll give it a go! And of course we hope that you’ll join in the choruses (though you don’t have to, obviously!).
Do I Have To Pay To Get In?
When we first started our Singarounds, back in the day in a tiny bar at the Crystal Palace Tavern (R.I.P.. Confusingly, it wasn’t actually in Crystal Palace), they were free.
Some time later, we began sending a bag around in the interval for voluntary contributions to help cover the general expenses of running the Goose. We made the contributions voluntary because we did not want to deter people from coming who genuinely could not afford to pay.
We now ask people to pay £3 on the door.
We came reluctantly to this decision because we need the money to subsidise any losses (which in some cases can be considerable) we make on our concerts and club nights. We also have expenses such as printing, paid advertising and our website.
Because The Ivy House holds 100 fewer people than DHFC (our previous concert venue) did, our sellout concerts no longer make as much money, so we have less dosh available to subsidise those concerts which are not well attended.
Having a cushion of money in hand will hopefully stop us (well, Sue ) stressing quite so much about advance ticket sales, or lack of them ……
We hope that you will understand our reasons for doing this, and that £3 is sufficiently low that even those on a low income will be able to afford it. Additional donations are of course welcome
Oh, and to soften the blow (we hope) when you pay your £3 you will be given a free raffle ticket. In the interval we will have a raffle for two prizes (lucky dips from our famous/infamous Goose raffle bags). Hooray!
We used to have a load of songs and words on this page which you could print off if you were stuck for something to sing.
However it is quite clear that people are very happy to find their own songs, and the eclectic nature of the Singaround is one of its charms (we think!)
So I (the one who isn’t Nyge) have unilaterally removed them. If you feel really strongly that they should go back, let me know and I’ll (maybe 😀 ) reinstate them!
The Ivy House is fully accessible and now has a disabled loo (ask us for details if you can’t find it).
The Ivy House does not serve food on Sunday nights.
We may occasionally have cake (thanks, Jane!) or mince pies (thanks, Hannah!), for example at Christmas or birthdays, but they will be distributed at a suitable point such as a break!
Sadly we can’t believe we have to say this to our lovely Goose people, but hey unfortunately it seems that we must …..
If you bring your own drink into our venue, not only is it extremely rude to the pub who is providing the room but it may cause them to lose their licence – and us to lose another venue.
Anybody who we or the bar staff find drinking drinks (or possessing drinks which in our opinion they intend to drink at the Singaround) which have not been bought at the bar will be asked to leave, and will be permanently banned from all Goose events 🙁