I’m reminded that one of the things I praised in that review of the Seven Stars was the absence of a jukebox. I also note that, of the pubs I know on the Standard’s shortlist, I’m not sure any has a jukebox. Is there a pattern here? Is close control of (or absence of) music in a pub a key to the Standard rating your boozer?

I think it should be one of the aims of this publog to rehabilitate the responsible use of the juker as a feature of some really good pubs. A bad jukebox at a deafening volume can ruin the pub experience. Certainly it’s easy to achieve a control of the ambience of a pub if you choose a stereo, or a music-free environment. But one of the key elements of pub-ness is a sense of the random: these are public spaces and their character changes according to which members of the public are present at any given time. Allowing the clientele to choose their music reflects and enhances that sense of chance. A judiciously-stocked juker at a sensible volume is a joy forever.