TJ's 'unlikely' to be retained as music venue after auction

Thursday 8 September 2011, 10:39

James McLaren James McLaren

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According to the auctioneer conducting the sale of legendary Newport venue TJ's, it is 'unlikely' to be used as a music venue in the future.

Paul Fosh auctions will be selling TJ's on 15 September at Cardiff's Park Inn Hotel. It is being sold following the death of its owner John Sicolo in 2010. Mr Fosh told BBC Wales News:

"There's little doubt TJ's was an iconic and well-known rock venue, attracting some major bands especially in the 90s.

"It would be great, romantic even, for someone to buy the building and for it to continue its use as a rock venue, but that sadly seems unlikely to be the case.

"I have had a great deal of interest in the property, especially from local people looking to redevelop the property [as residential or retail]."

TJ's was one of the UK's major indie/rock venues in the 1990s, with an amazing range of artists passing through. Some of the major ones included: Arab Strap, Babes In Toyland, Bikini Kill, The Bluetones, Buzzcocks, Catatonia, Chumbawamba, Cornershop, The Cranberries, Echo And The Bunnymen, Elastica, Fugazi, Girls Against Boys, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Green Day, Hole, Huggy Bear, Jesus Lizard, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Lemonheads, Manic Street Preachers, Mansun, Mercury Rev, Mogwai, My Bloody Valentine, My Life Story, Nation Of Ulysses, New Model Army, NOFX, Oasis, The Offspring, Pop Will Eat Itself, Primal Scream, Rancid, Rocket From The Crypt, The Selecter, Shed Seven, Shellac, Skunk Anansie, Supergrass, Therapy?, Urge Overkill (with St Etienne DJing) and The Wedding Present.

The guide price for the property is £175,000.

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    Comment number 1.

    There's been a lot or romantic waffle about TJs. Sure, some great bands played there (I saw a few over the years) but any one seeing them often ended up disappointed (as I often was.) The sound system in there was atrocious, it often sounded like they were playing in a tin can with the treble turned all the way up to 11. The beer was rubbish and overpriced, and transport back and fore from Cardiff meant either taking out a mortgage for a taxi or staying sober to drive. I can honestly say I have no positive memories of the place other than being able to say I went there occasionally.

    Personally, for a similar sized venue, The Venue on Charles Street in Cardiff was far superior in terms of atmosphere, sound and the variety of bands and gigs it had there. The beer was still rubbish though, but I have many more fond memories of gigs in there than TJs. Maybe if the equally over-rated Kurt Cobain had proposed in the Venue instead of TJs, it would have had a longer life and more column inches. ;)

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    The sound: I never heard a terrible sound in there. Mostly good -> great (depending on the artist, of course). Certainly equable with my experience of the rather soulless Venue.

    Draught beer wasn't great - but when is it ever at a venue? Especially back in the day, when 'boutique' venues (say, Buffalo Bar) didn't exist. At least not in my experience.

    TJ's was legendary to me because of the broad ranging stew of people it used to attract. The crowd was less concerned about itself than many other venues I've been to. The promoters who were given free reign to book the bands there brought in acts that influenced and inspired a generation of artists. Only the truly great venues can lay claim to that. And TJ's is on that least, certainly as far as I'm concerned.

    There's more to a great venue than a Top Trumps of P.A. / Location / Decor / Toilets / Bar... you can have perfect facilities and no atmosphere. Things are much better the other way round.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    "list" - edit button, please ;)


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