Monday, February 19, 2007

Karaoke Review: Mayday Malone's w/ Jeremy Siklosi

Review Date: 2007-02-09

After an admittedly long absence due to my day job as well as well as a few other distractions I'm finally able to get back to reviewing karaoke venues. A few things have changed from last year. For starter's Jeff Zedic has left to explore the world and has passed on his business to the Jeremy Siklosi who carries the torch and at the Groundhog and Mayday Malone's. Jeremy has some big shoes to fill as Jeff was in my view the best Karaoke MC in Toronto since I started this blog. I also had to hold off this review because of a technical mishap that occurred literally the day before the torch was officially passed on. I felt it was ncessary to wait a short period in order to give a fair review. Now that the collection is restored I can move forward with a clear conscience as see how well the new shoes fits our new Karaoke Host.

The Good: Mayday Malone's as a venue has really low prices on food. If you are looking for a karaoke bar on a budget this is one place you should definitely check out. Especially if you like Nachos which are half price on Thursday nights. The equipment is mostly unchanged and Jeremy takes the same care and attention to sound quality as Jeff always did so unless you yell into the mike you'll sound anywhere from good to amazing. The song selection mostly the same as Jeff had. There are around 10k+ songs in the book as a few are still being restored but it should not be too long before the original 13k+ songs are back in the system. The wait times are quite good for the most part but there is a regular group that goes in around 11 PM so your best best to get in 3-4 songs in the evening is to get there around 10 PM. Jeremy keeps up the tempo both in the rotation and energy although he needs a little more variety in his commentary. The food services is quite prompt.

The Mixed: The layout isn't bad and its as good as the restaurant will allow given its configuration. You may be forced to site near the front door due to space. Mayday Malone's is not really ideal for large groups because seating near the karaoke action is limited, especially if groups come to play darts which requires 2-3 tables to be removed so they can play. Seating in the 1st half of the restaurant isn't bad, but it can be awkward to reach when your name is called. The food quality is palletable, but I've had better at places like the Groundhog Pub, but then again prices are higher. I'd say its the best food you can get for modest pries they charge, and that being said, the food is fairly decent.

The Bad
: While you get good food and portions for the price the selection is severely lacking, not only in food selection (very basic sandwiches, pizzas, Mexicana food, a few appetizers, and no desserts), but in drinks as well. No coolers available. They can do mixes for your and they have all the basic beers and lagers. Be warned that if you are a fan of coolers or premixed drinks, you won't find any here.

Summary: Mayday Malone's is probably the best place I've seen in downtown core (roughly) for someone looking to do karaoke on a tight budget. With a very wide selection of songs to choose from, good quality food (especially for the price) and great equipment you'll be happy with this place. The space is more limited than other venues out there and the food selection is extremely limited so bear in mind that low budgets have their price. Jeremy Siklosi takes good care of his participants and tries very hard to please. Fans of Jeff Zedic, be aware that Jeremy is not the comedian that Jeff was. (Jeff actually did professional shows at Yuk Yuk's every so often and that is a rare find in a Karaoke MC). I do miss the well timed jokes and the trivia that Jeff used to give in his shows. If I had any immediate tips for Jeremy in his new role I'd say work up the Karaoke Music Trivia between songs and add a few comic observations. This is one way Jeff Zedic really pleased the crowd and Jeremy is capable of it. All he needs is more practice. Given the way things got started off when he took over the business, Jeremy has been a professional by follow the old motto, “The show must go on”. He's probably still reeling from the mishap of late December when Mr. Zedic accidentally scrambled the music collection the day before Jeremy took over which took some quick action get mostly restored. I strongly suspect we'll see Jeremy shine as an MC now that he is able to focus on personality aspect. I'll check up on him and alter the selection and MC scores as Jeremy gets settled in. All in all this is still a quality karaoke venue to visit.

Final Grade: B

Facilities: 7.0 (Seating may be limited and you may be forced to sit on the opposite side of the from bar from the karaoke host & equipment)
Equipment: 8.8 (minor glitches if MC has to use a disk rather than the computer hard drive)
Selection 8.8 (a few songs from the original collection missing but will be restored shortly)
Food Selection: 6.8 (food & drink selection are really limited here)
Prices: 8.8 (some of the best prices I've seen for the food in downtown Toronto)
Location: 7.8 (Bathurst Subway, and walk north about 15 minutes, scattered side street parking)
Host: 8.5 (Very attentive to sound levels of his singers,but commentary occasionally gets repetitive. There have been some exceptional circumstances to take in to account so this score should improve shortly)
Wait times: 8.5
Service: 8.5

Venue Information:
Jeremy Siklosi, Siklosi Karaoke
Mayday Malone's
1078 Bathurst St.
Toronto, ON
M5R 3G9
(416) 531-8064

Thursdays: 10 PM - 2 AM

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