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First Round: Carry-okay

First Round loves nothing better than to spend a Saturday night dressed up as Ziggy Stardust, belting out a rousing rendition of Eye of the Tiger before teaming up with Guy Hands for a touching duet of Endless Love.

Just for the avoidance of doubt, First Round is talking karaoke – the honourable pursuit of all right-thinking buyout enthusiasts (including, famously, the aforementioned Terra Firma boss and one-time EMI owner – though First Round cannot confirm or deny whether Lionel Richie features prominently on his playlist).

So First Round was delighted to learn recently that London is now home to the Private Equity Karaoke Club – a regular opportunity for industry types to get together in a small dark room in Soho on a school night, drink inordinate amounts of champagne, and spend several hours belting out popular hits of the 70s, 80s and 90s.

At the most recent of these gatherings, First Round’s mole reports that a varied crowd of private equity denizens – drawn from funds of funds, secondaries groups, family offices and advisory firms – gathered at karaoke club Lucky Voice to strut their stuff, with highlights apparently including spirited versions of Pulp’s Common People and Johnny Cash’s Walk the Line (though the less said about Bare Necessities from the Jungle Book, the better). 

Booze flowed, wigs were worn, inflatable guitars were thrashed, and much fun was generally had by all – at least until what our source describes as a “sustained physical tussle” over the upcoming playlist towards the latter part of the evening (those competitive private equity juices coming to the fore, perhaps).

First Round knows what you’re thinking: how do I get involved? Well, sadly it seems to be a discreet, invitation-only-type deal. Or at least that’s what it said on our restraining order. The first rule of Private Equity Karaoke Club? You don’t talk about Private Equity Karaoke Club.