I was at the Blue Bar of the Four Seasons in Hong Kong the other night.
After months of having the same resident singer who had way over-stayed her welcome, someone new was, mercifully, replacing her- someone from New York, I was told as if being “from New York” is a given for amazing talent.
It isn’t whereas usually, when it comes to hotels booking these ubiquitous lounge singers “from New York” warbling the same old obligatory snoozefest MOR chansons, they’re usually from somewhere in Canada.
But, hey, whether Winnipeg or Colombo, talent is talent and we were hoping to see someone new- no high expectations- and someone half-decent.
Well, whoever has sold the hotel this new singer is a bloody PT Barnum and a brilliant salesman as what the Blue Bar has is a resident singer who barely sings- it’s a cameo appearance- and with the very sparse audience there that night nodding off.
And when the staff tell you just what a waste of space she is, well, that’s the kiss of death.
What is astonishing, however, are those who are (A) hired to find these singers- usually, “mature” and past it with a repertoire heard by carbon copy singers for over two decades- and (B) the person at the hotel who approves these acts.
What on earth does a hotelier know about music or acts or music marketing?
Sure, they might know how to manage the venue and hire a decent bartender and staff, but knowing what regulars and, more importantly, a new market sick and tight of lazy “jazzy” doodlings and a mediocre covers singer dressed in a tent and proving that hips don’t lie?
They know bugger all and the team responsible for booking the lucky dear at the Blue Bar to warble around two songs in a set are doing nothing to attract guests to the venue.