After allowing the band’s photographer to shoot videos inside its AGC, operator Mr P’s Classic Amusements has witnessed its “legendary” machines on tour with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, proving that classic is the original cool.
“I lost my faith in the summertime,‘cause it don’t stop raining,” belts Noel Gallagher to an audience in Paris, as machines from Mr P’s Classic Amusements in Tonbridge appear on the huge screen behind.
“This all came about when we were approached by his video and photographer who offered us payment for the chance to take videos of our legendary machines,” explained Dave and Amelia Douglas,owners of Mr P’s Classic Amusements.“ We agreed that he could take as much as he needed for free, we do this for the passion and love and to see the end product of the machines behind the sensational Noel Gallagher is more than any payment can provide.”
On Facebook, the operator shared a video of Gallagher’s concert which showed the classic machines,described as “some of the greatest ever produced”, set in the background“ behind a great artist”.
While gambling has featured heavily in main- stream media outlets over the past 12 months,this latest sighting highlights a real difference in style between the amusements industry and other forms of gambling.There is a reason Gallagher’s photographer chose Mr P’s machines for the background of his tour rather than, for example, a fixed odds betting terminal.
There is also a reason, albeit different, why the photographer didn’t use a casino table. Machines from the amusements industry are not associated with trouble like FOBTs, or high-rollers like casinos, they are associated with casual, easy-going entertainment, for the average bloke – or lady – much like Oasis’ music.
While this distinction in public perception appears to escape regulatory statistics, it hasn’t been lost on Mr P’s customers, or indeed on would-be operators who are increasingly looking to join the classic trend.
“We have noticed lately that many people are looking to open classic arcades and trying to copy what we are, we find this odd as they must be crazy like us!” added Douglas. “It’s not an easy task keeping the old games working and we have almost 20 years in the industry so we wish all well. Like a pet, an arcade is not a novelty item and needs a careful owner with time and dedication. Those who are money orientated will be disappointed to find that the upkeep of a classic often out weighs the income.”
And this, perhaps, is the biggest reason that Britain’s most popular potty-mouthed musician backed up his European tour with videos of a Tonbridge AGC’s classic machines. For most operators across the country, amusements is an everyday lifestyle, not just a nine-to-five job – and that’s pretty cool.