Along with the exuberant carpets, Wetherspoons’ lack of music remains a talking point, with many arguing that a night out at Spoons would be greatly improved with music. To me, a Spoons veteran, this argument makes about as much sense as ordering a pint of Stella. If you’re lucky enough to live near a Spoons that doesn’t turn into a budget Year 8 disco-esque nightclub at 9pm, you have been spared the unspeakable horrors of a Spoons that has music, and can be forgiven for thinking that Spoons would be better off with music. Nothing is a bigger vibe killer than the sight of a middle-aged couple enjoying their Spoons curry.
However, if instead of a club setting, an employee were to plug in an aux chord and supply tunes to the audience of students, locals and creepy old men alike, it’s essential to ask: what music would satisfy the diverse musical tastes of Spoons clientele? “Chart music”, says the layman, “for it appeals to the general public”. “Smooth jazz”, says the music snob, “for its relaxed tempo is an automatic stimulus for conversation”. “Really good and cool bands like Oasis and Arctic Monkeys”, says the common indie, although their opinion is automatically invalidated for their admission to Spoons rests solely on whether the bar staff accepts their fake ID. “A non-stop, 24 hour long filthy DnB mix” says the bucket-hat-wearing, Adidas-clad, middle class roadman whose main conversation starter is “did you go to Boomtown?”
I think its self-evident that none of these responses hold the truth. In a setting sonically fuelled by the general white noise of unintelligible conversations, whence cometh music? Not only would it be impossible to play music that would appease the wide variety of Spoonsgoers, the very act of playing music itself is utterly superfluous. In brief, picture a Spoons that plays the music they play in McDonalds. Now mull over why that’s one of the worst ideas you’ve heard in your life. Spoons is cheap enough as it is, it needn’t be cheapened further by cheap music.