Are these a thing?
Yes. Thanks to the internet restaurants have been able to make the music they play available to anyone that wants to listen for some time. MEATliquor famously had a radio booth at its Hoxton restaurant that transmitted music to its other sites. The brief was to always remember the three Rs (raucous, relentless, rowdy) and avoid BBC (Beatles, Bieber, Coldplay). But as Spotify and other similar streaming sites gained momentum, more and more restaurants have set their playlists to public so people can enjoy their tunes at home.
But why are we talking about this now?
Subway have just upped the ante by signing Brentford-based pirate radio station Kurupt FM to run its in-store radio network for the whole of next week. The activity also includes a series of online videos, including a teaser episode that reveals how band manager and peanut dust entrepreneur Chabuddy G (Asim Chaudhry) managed to strike a deal with the sandwich giant. In the video, he reveals that the pirate station is going legit with the exclusive partnership, expanding Kurupt’s audience beyond a few streets in the West London borough by broadcasting into 2,200 restaurants across the UK and Ireland.
I’ve never really noticed the music at Subway...
Us neither. But apparently the service was launched in 2016 and broadcasts across the whole of Subway’s 41,00 site-strong global business. Presumably Yellow Submarine features heavily.
Isn’t Kurupt FM a bit edgy for such a mainstream brand?
That’s a fair point. Brilliant as the BBC mockumentary was, it’s not exactly family viewing. Presumably references to MC Grindah’s ‘blazing’ and Steves’ frequent use of hallucinogens will be off the menu. Chabuddy might be portrayed as incompetent, but the Kurupt FM crew have played an absolute blinder here: they have their first feature film out in August so this (doubtless well paid) job could not have come at a better time.
What will they play?
Kurupt FM specialises in UK Garage and drum and bass but it seems unlikely every single Subway across the UK and Ireland will pump this out for an entire week. The sandwich maker has given no detail on content so we’ll have to wait and see.
Any other restaurants linking up with musical acts?
Actually, yes. Upcoming Brighton restaurant Burnt Orange will have a music programme curated by Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) and Le Bab's new late-night kebab house will have a playlist created by grime artist Big Zuu. The latter in particular is something the Kurupt FM crew is likely to approve of.