"..big for swank, convenience, and accessibility"Review Rating: Reviewed by Directionless
London’s South Bank; home to the Tate Modern, the British Film Institute, the London Eye and now, the World of Namoke. The new, private karaoke booth recently unveiled inside entertainment venue Namco Station.
Namco have venues across the country, including outlets in Newcastle, Dagenham, Luton and Ipswich. They aim to offer a ‘unique entertainment experience,’ and conjure up a world of bowling, dodgems, arcade games, pool, food, bars and DJs. London’s South Bank venue sits right below the eye itself, opposite the cloisters of Westminster and in prime line for all those visiting the city and eager for diversion.
This venue has been up and running for fourteen years now, but remains immaculate thanks to a recent re-furb. Inside, it’s eye burningly bright and clean, not a scratch or scuff in sight. Spreading over several floors, it includes a pool hall backed by a stretch of armchairs and small tables, a bar, a modest sized dance area and arcade games. There is also a neon bowling ally that although rather miniature with only 4 lanes, (the whole venue has 12 lanes over two floors) is perfectly proportioned. As we were there we also had a DJ belting out those classic 90s pop hits – although the DJ is not permanent fixture and was drafted in for the opening party, they do have weekend DJs playing anything and everything!
The Namoke itself is upstairs, in a private party room overlooking the main venue space. The insides pulsate with colour, streamers and glitter. The karaoke machine itself is very user friendly, hopping between languages, songs and tempos. The booth is intimate, holding approximately 15 people, and it’s there with prices starting at £20 for an hour, with a free waiter service as an optional extra.
Different parts of the venue can be hired out to cater for any variety of numbers, time spans, and promotions. Food and drink can be added in – the canapés are delicious – and the staff are obviously keen to do what they can to ensure an event is a success.
When you think Namco Station-Namoke, don’t think nostalgically retro. Forget Allstar Big Lebowski style bowling with white Russians, 50s vogue and American diners. This venue is for the tourists and for the corporate parties. It is big for swank, convenience, and accessibility, and it does those well. Take your business there when sales are good, your children there when the holidays are long, and your mates there when the sports bars lose their kick.
Directionless reviewed Namco Station on Mon 21 Feb 2011