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If music be the food of love, 
pump up the volume.
One of the most common letters published in the Gay press concerns the music in gay pubs. Mostly these letters concentrate on the volume which always seems to be too high and destroys any chance of a conversation.

There are pubs which fall into this category but there are others where although the music is loud, you can speak and be heard. It must me something to do with the balance of the sound frequencies. If I wrote a letter about music in pubs, however, I would concentrate on what they played not how they played it.

I do think that there is a lack of imagination in most British pubs. I've already said my two pennyworth about the choice of non alcoholic drinks. Perhaps it is because of the fact that most are run by large breweries and imagination is not what big companies are good at.

What a pub plays can make or break it. The lazy way is just to install a juke box and leave it on some kind of automatic play until a punter is daft enough to put money into it. Almost as bad if not worse is to have MTV babbling away complete with commercials and station identification inserts. Crews was guilty of this at times and look what happened there.

I would like to see a wider range of music including some of european origin. A bit of Dutch or Belgium pub music, a touch of the french accordions, a bit of German schutzenfest mixed in with the golden oldies and the latest mega tracks would vary the musical wallpaper a little.

One of the busiest bars in central London does play a good mixture of track, I've even heard Doris day going on about the Deadwood stage a few times and watched twenty year olds singing along to it.

With the popularity of Amsterdam, isn't it time someone had the occasional 'Dutch' night. We can't officially have the backrooms of course, but we can have the sounds and the taste. Special promotion prices on Grolsch, hot little snacks on the counters and dutch sing-a-long records on the gramophone. What would finish it all off nicely would be the guest appearance of some dishy dutch bar staff just for the night.

On the subject of continental bars it is interesting how behind the bar there is usually equipment for playing, vinyl, CD's,cassettes, videos, FM and at times even satellite radio. The bar staff double as D.J's and seem to be experts at matching music to mood.

While my brain is being creative it's good to see Country music appearing here and there but if a bar wants to be a bit different now and again why not a Rock and Roll, or a 'music from the films' night. As someone who had a misspent youth in smoky jazz clubs, I would love to see an occasional live traditional jazz band playing a gay venue. It would make a change from drag !

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NOTHING CHANGES !
While changing the layout of this page, I have just come back from visiting a new pub, The Birdcage, in Chiswick, West London. Nice place, lots of money spent on making a good atmosphere BUT music to deaden your brain. Why ???
2006 The Birdcage music has improved.
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