The Hobbit jukebox is embarrassing

One does not simply skip my song.


Jukeboxes are a great thing. They give the everyday pub-goer a feeling of power. For a small price normal people can show off their musical tastes to the entire bar.

From Madonna to Motörhead, jukebox’s bring people and their different music taste’s together. They allow for the discovery and appreciation of music, old and new, in a friendly environment.

Everyone should at some point in their life experience the excitement of flicking through a jukebox. The rush you get when you find that perfect song, whilst teasing your mates to “wait for the next one”, is unmatched.

It is this sense of freedom and love for music that is cruelly taken away by the post on The Hobbit jukebox.

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Hide your Spotify, the taste police are here.

The message on The Hobbit’s jukebox proudly declares that the Hobbit staff have a “skip track button behind the bar so the staff get to be the taste police for the evening”. The post then goes on to list a number of loosely defined parameters for what cannot be played.

The cringeworthy list of ‘no-go’ genres that the post enthusiastically describes only contributes to the sad state of affairs. “Anything with the remotest connection to Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and their wretched ilk” will supposedly be skipped. How terribly funny and counter-culture you are. These are the same people that bore you every year with that ‘Rage Against the Machine got Christmas number one story’. Yes, it was funny. In 2009.

Also, who doesn’t like Olly Murs or Susan Boyle? Subo’s unexpectedly operatic voice might actually liven the place up a bit.

The vague  phrasing of “Anything more famous as an internet meme” only adds to the uncomfortable decision of choosing a song on The Hobbit jukebox. No one wants to think to themselves, “I really want to play Hotline Bling but I don’t know whether the bar staff were on Reddit earlier”. If you’re going to police what people can play, at least make it clear. A full extensive list of every single song we are not allowed to play please.

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“go with something funny like Tenacious D”

In doing this The Hobbit have taken away the defining principle of the jukebox. They have taken away that glorious liberty that a member of a free democratic society is entitled to by law. If someone has paid £1 to play a song on a jukebox they are entitled to listen to it , even if you don’t like it.

You could argue that The Hobbit are merely trying to keep the desired atmosphere within their bar. It would admittedly be a bit surreal to hear the silky voice of Brittany Spears echoing around the hard brick walls. However, all this does is contribute to the elitist and unwelcoming atmosphere that the bar projects to anyone that doesn’t like rock or metal music.

This does on some level seem to expose a larger issue concerning the ever increasing hostility between certain music genres. Just because someone may like different music to you does not mean you cannot appreciate it for its own merits, and it certainly doesn’t give you the right to judge them for it.

What’s wrong with liking multiple genres of music. Many a Hobbit patron may enjoy the thrash metal tunes of Megadeath as well as the harsh inner city raps of Skepta. Yet, under the draconian rule of Hobbiton, if you decided to play the latter, you would lose your hard earned money.

This is exactly why metal heads and people who like rock or alternative music get a bad name. Behaviour like this just ruins it for the rest of us. You’re not ‘rock n roll’ by stopping people from playing mainstream music, you’re just an arsehole.