26. Volume

What is your favourite pub or bar back home?  Me?  I like The Victoria in Surbiton, my local.  It’s a decent old proper urban pub with wood panels, Victorian architecture, Fosters mats and a quaint beer garden in the aft.  I like the ambience, old Ted at the end of the bar with his tankard, the sport on the 14” TV mounted high up in the corner and the insistence that it’s an inviting, peaceful place to go.

Every now and again though they organise a live band to come and play.  Sometimes it’s a tribute band, sometimes an upcoming one or sometimes just a bunch of middle aged men escaping their families for the night.  Whatever, it’s a welcome change and they are generally rather quite good.  It’s something different.  But could you deal with it every night, the same songs over and over?  And the noise?  Hmmm…

The UAE is technically still a developing a country.  Despite the brazen and factually absurd articles you read about the UAE in The Daily Mail and The Sun, it gets a lot of things right.  It has gone from a baron featureless desert to global economic hub in 30 years and should be congratulated.  However there is one thing that needs urgent attention, more so than clean drinking water: hotel bands.

Most are fine.  For example the South African couple that play in The Horse and Jockey are quite good and they play at a volume that still permits you to have a conversation with your fellow pub-goer.  I like to joke with my friends about the lack of variety from one hotel bar to another in terms of what music is played.  It seems that Hotel California is standard issue.  This has made me dislike The Eagles.  It’s all so repetitive that these days I don’t even acknowledge it, it’s just like the CD’s I burn for my car.  Great at first but when it gets played all the time you just switch off.  So in essence it doesn’t bother me, the volume at which it is played however?  Now my finger starts to wag…

There are some bands that insist on cranking their white noise up to 11 and become absolutely hell bent on turning your ear drums into a fine dust.  So as you sit there struggling to order your cool refreshing lager the barman – 1 foot away – thinks that you’re asking for a ticket to Marbella instead of a pint of Stella.  After some curious hand gestures you get your ticket to Marbella and turn to your friend for a conversation.  He is within 12 inches of you and is practically sitting on the same stool, but can you hear him?  Of course not, because Johnny Six-String Shouts A Lot is screaming “Welcome to the Hotel California” into the microphone with seemingly such pain you’d think he was being slowly dissolved by acid.

It gets worse.  As your voice is hoarse due to shouting in your friends ears, you need to keep your throat moist so you look down at your ticket to Marbella and find that most of it is gone, spilled as a result of the contemptible bass abuse.  This is where I have to draw the line.  As I am your servant I will not allow this to continue.  After hours in the blog laboratory (the Lablogatory – I know, I know) toiling with my literary chemistry set I have come up with a theory that I have carefully tried and tested.

I call it “Fullard’s Law”.  Fullard’s Law is simple.  It is an uncomplicated calculation of the number on the volume dial in reference to the number of people in the room.  For instance, if there are between 1-10 people in the bar, then the volume dial should be set to 1.  If there are 11-20 patrons quaffing flagons of Mead in the bar then you may raise the volume to 2 and so on in this fashion.  The odds are that if your bar is full of young ragamuffins – numbering in excess of 100 – they want to party.  So crank up the noise and I’ll go somewhere else.  But if the only people in the bar are the barman, you, me and William Shatner then I want some peace so I can enjoy the conversation and not leave with chronic tinnitus.  It’s all about ratios and I beseech that hotel management take note of my findings.

Of course the alternative is to just buy a CD and play it over and over.  Because then we can just skip The Eagles…


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2 thoughts on “26. Volume

  1. Im grateful for the article. Really Great.

  2. Irvin Deel says:

    I think this is a real great blog.

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