Continuing on our Jukebox Journeys through some of the best venues Glasgow has to offer, Benny Robb visits The Snaffle Bit on recommendation to see what all the fuss is about…
Open since 1960, displaying a fine range of ales and whiskies along with a loyal selection of regular customers, The Snaffle Bit pub on Sauchiehall Street could be forgiven for not being an obvious choice to host one of Glasgow’s most highly regarded jukeboxes. However, after several recommendations, I decided to visit this landmark pub in the West End of Glasgow to sample the celebrated atmosphere and have a peek at the treasured jukebox within.
When I first walked into The Snaffle Bit on (what probably should have been) a quiet autumnal afternoon, I was immediately greeted with a noticeably warm atmosphere and a number of friendly faces on both sides of the bar. The instant feel to the place is that of an old, drinking man’s pub with many a regular perched along the two bars and a wide selection of cask ales and whiskies served by the dram. The tartan carpet and dark wooden fittings add to this feel of a warm, traditional Scottish pub, full of character and regulars with many-a-story to tell.
Interestingly, this feel of a classic Scottish public house was dramatically contrasted when I stumbled upon the jukebox, sitting quietly in the corner, next to the side entrance of the pub. The first unexpected thing I noticed about The Snaffle Bit jukebox was that it was in fact digital, with a touch screen and colourful display, something which I had not yet encountered on my Jukebox Journeys. The second surprising element to this much-celebrated music machine was the incredibly wide and up-to-date range of music on offer to it’s customers. I was extremely (and happily) surprised to see a number of selection options offering music from the 60’s right up to the present date, with the most recent release from Jay-Z and Kanye West sitting on the first page of the musical choices right next to The Proclaimers.
By digging a bit deeper into the variety of music available, I came across many other Scottish classics one would expect to be included here, interestingly all sitting alongside many unusual contemporary choices, guaranteed to please a huge range of customers. This indicated to me that, despite it’s obviously classic look and feel, The Snaffle Bit has aimed to make all customers feel welcome, determined to make the jukebox a place for everyone to feel comfortable and at home. The fact that the jukebox music becomes free from 9pm every Friday evening further indicates this welcoming feel and the venue’s focus on keeping the jukebox relevant and a big reason to visit the pub over other local rivals.