Thursday, July 16, 2009

Say what?

I am, I regret to report, severely unenamoured of The Cowboy's neighbourhood bar.

Amongst the gravest of its shortcomings - it has the worst acoustics of any bar I've ever been. Bare walls, a high ceiling (industrial minimalist approach, with exposed metal ventilation ducts, etc.), a big window - the sound just bounces and rattles around in there something horrible. It actually seems to amplify sound in some strange way. It's like being inside a tin box. Somebody drops a pin, and it sounds more like a metal scaffolding pole.

And, of course, because of this, everybody SHOUTS.

Having pointless background music on the whole time doesn't help either (not loud enough for you to actually hear, but loud enough to prompt the punters to yell even more to make themselves heard above it).

Since the place seems to be positioning itself primarily as a sports bar - two or three large screens continuously showing live games, mostly baseball - you'd think, wouldn't you, that they might actually want to play the game commentary occasionally, rather than pumping out the incessant middle-of-the-road rock music. But no. Always with the music. (I guess you wouldn't be able to hear the TVs, no matter what.)

Really, I do not exaggerate: this bar is painfully noisy, a serious environmental health hazard. Even with just a handful of people in there, the background buzz becomes deafening. When there's any kind of a crowd, the decibel level is through the roof! I leave there with my head throbbing and my eardrums buzzing. And I can barely hear a word anyone says to me in there.



The British Cowboy said...

While my initial impression is to mock you, as ever, the new, soft hearted me is a little concerned.

While it can be loud there, it is less so than other places - not the best acoustics I agree, but it isn't anywhere close to be "dangerously" loud. I think this may be reflecting your hearing as much as the bar itself, something requiring a check up? Take advantage of the NHS while in the UK.

Froog said...

No, I think you're just inured to it, Cowboy.

I did notice a couple of the places I went with Tim were also uncomfortably raucous (I fear it's a recent trend in the bar scene on your side of the pond, something I severely disfavour), but they didn't have that nasty tinny quality about them that makes even a modest background hubbub echoey and abrasive in your local.

Did you realise that when you brought that gang back to your pad after closing time last week you were all SCREAMING YOUR LUNGS OUT - and probably waking up not just your next-door neighbour but people two or three doors down as well?? You have to YELL to make yourself heard in that place, and when you've been doing it for 4 or 5 hours, you don't realise you're doing it any more, and you can't easily stop.

I have no problem with the general acuity of my hearing, but I've always tended to get tinnitus in very noisy environments. That bar is a VERY NOISY environment. Much the noisiest bar I've ever been in. If you tried measuring the decibel level in there on a busy night, I think you'd get a very unpleasant shock.