Where we take a closer look at one of our favourite things in London.
What is it? An NSM Prestige II jukebox from the late 1970s/early 80s. Records spun vertically. Tactile buttons (remember those?). A phosphorescent treasure chest overspilling with golden hits. People hunched over the thing — half admiring, half pondering what to play. Rest of the bar waiting to pass judgement.
Where is it? Bradley's Spanish Bar.
What's Bradley's Spanish Bar when it's at home? You know, that 'secret' bar off Oxford Street which the world and his dog knows about. Punters shoulder-to-shoulder on cherry banquettes supping glasses of Estrella Galicia. Real Betis scarves up on the wall. Pictures of matadors. Doorway cigarette smoke blowing back into the bar, lacquering the joint with an extra vintage veneer.
What's playing? Stone cold classics. Like A Prayer. Hound Dog. Lashings of yacht rock. One bloke put on Spanish Flea when we were there — in how many other bars do you hear that? They switch the singles up regularly, with a collection of 20,000 to choose from. Becoming jaded is not an option.
Bit of an heirloom is it? They've gone through a few jukeboxes in their time, probably why there's a sign pinned up next to this one: "Please Be Delicate With Our Lovely Jukebox Thank You".
How much to spin a choon? Three records for a pound apparently, although sometimes it's free.
Bradley's Spanish Bar, 42-44 Hanway Street
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