Toronto Karaoke Review: Fox and Fiddle on Danforth
Fox and Fiddle on Danforth Featuring Canadian Karaoke Champ Michelle
I had been meaning to check this place out for sometime so I finally made an excuse to take an friend out there one hot summer day to check it out. As franchises go its an overall fun place go to. But is this one fun for Karaoke? The Danforth area could use a karaoke champion as one in the area had had closed its doors sometime back.(The sign is still up :-) )
The Good: The food quality was the best thing going for this place. I recommend going on Wednesday for the half priced Fajitas. Really nice. The food selection is exceptionally good. Wide variety of Tex-Mex bar food, bar food and FREE POOL! The karaoke facilities were decent: Good center stage, easy to get to. Better than most.
The Mixed: The food prices were about average but very good on Wednesdays for the fajitas. The equipment was about average, unfortunately the sound levels weren't great and the MC wasn't adjusting for them very well. Wait times were average.
The Bad: Unfortunately the largest part of this section will be on the karaoke itself. The MC was one of the most disorganized I'd ever seen. MIchelle started late because she waited for selections from her regular group to come in (I had a selection in but over 30 minutes before putting it in as I wasn't one of he regulars). I've seen MC's with poor crowds before work better than this. And the crowd this evening was actually quite good. This MC didn't know how to work them at all or get new inexperienced people involved. (Best place for new inexperience Karaoke participants is Shoeless Joe's) Even worse, the books were scattered with no central place for people to get at them (as is customary), there weren't enough books when people asked for them, and the selection was overall quite poor. I was informed by the Karaoke Management that other songs were available but they would have to check. What is with that? It should be in the book or not mentioned. Telling people you MAY have it undocumented is not professional. The many selections had no organization either, New songs added were tagged at the end so you had to work to find songs you wanted.
The mike levels were not adjusted properly by the MC. The song book talks about how this MC won some Karaoke contest. Well, that is only a small part of the skills required for make a good Karaoke MC. That said, Michelle IS a powerful singer (and so is Peter Styles who is my favorate MC) The food service was pretty bad too. Had to call the waitress in the end to get any service after waiting for 30 minutes right next to the main bar with no one noticing.
Summary: We have a new record for worst MC in my review books which is strange because Michelle is a professional level singer. She honestly looked a little lost without her regulars involved. Extremely limited song selections (around 2000 songs), no proper organization slowing lookup times, and not enough books: Never saw anything like it. New comers to karaoke will feel quite awkward and sound just as awkward as sound levels seems to be an afterthought. I either had trouble hearing people over the music or heard mike distortion by good singers. The food was was quite good and again, there is free pool. A friend asked me to go again for pool later on. Its okay for a bar, and maybe some incidental karaoke but not for true enthusiasts.
Facilities: 8.5 (Quality setup with central stage)
Equipment: 8 (Mikes and speakers were quite good)
Location: 8 (some parking available, can get there on Chester subway)
Song Selection: 6 (Small selection, bad organization)
Wait Time: 7.0 (Average)
Host: 5.5 (Good singers don't necessarily make good MC's and here's the proof. Has to wait on the audience, can't move them effectively, inattentive on sound levels)
Food Prices: 7.0 (Average, to high)
Food Selection: 8.0 (Fairly good Tex-Mex & Pub food)
Food Quality: 8.5
Final Grade: C-
535 Danforth Avenue,
Toronto, Ontario M4K 1P7
Wednesdays 10 PM (depending on MC) - Closing