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TJ's, on Clarence Place in Newport

TJ's was a nightclub located on Clarence Place in Newport, South Wales.[1] It opened in 1985 and became a live music venue, particularly for rock music. It was an integral part of the so-called toilet circuit. The club advertised itself as "The Legendary TJ's".

John Sicolo started the venue with his then wife Vivienne in 1971 as a restaurant named "Cedar's Rest" before becoming a burger bar named "The Pittsburg Diner". Sicolo bought the premises in 1973 and extended into an adjoining property to form the nightclub "El Sieco's", during which time a variety of musical artists, including local folk acts, performed at the premises.

Sicolo established TJ's as a live music venue on the premises in 1985, the name TJ's representing John and his late partner Trilby Tucker.

Catatonia filmed their single "Mulder and Scully" at the venue. It is allegedly the place that Kurt Cobain proposed to Courtney Love.[2] Other bands which played at T.J's early in their careers include Oasis, Manic Street Preachers, Green Day, The Offspring, Lostprophets, Iron Maiden, The Stone Roses, Muse, Primal Scream, Descendents, NOFX, Misfits, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Lagwagon, The Bouncing Souls, The Vandals, The Ataris, and Skunk Anansie.[3]

TJ's was voted one of the top 50 'Big Nights Out' in the world by FHM in December 1997.[4]

In 2002 Jeff Killed John (forerunner band of Bullet for my Valentine) released their EP You/Play with Me through radio airplay on BBC Radio 1's broadcast at Newport's T.J.'s.[5]

John Sicolo, owner of the club throughout its period of popularity, died on 14 March 2010, aged 66.[6] A tribute concert in his honour, headlined by Goldie Looking Chain, was held in the city's John Frost Square on 10 July 2010.[7] On 15 September 2011 TJ's was sold at auction for £242,000.[8]

On 2 February 2013, the building was damaged by a fire, suspected to be arson.[9] The building remains empty in 2016.

In 2012 John Sicolo's grandson, Ashley Sicolo, opened a new music venue in Newport, the 200 Club, on Stow Hill, the decor for which included TJ's memorabilia and copies of TJ's gig posters. In May 2013 indie rockers took part in a gig at the venue when PiL guitarist Keith Levene and Therapy? singer Andy Cairns played there. The club closed on 26 May 2013 due to complaints over noise.[10] In March 2016 Ashley opened a new live music venue named El Sieco's on High Street in Newport city centre.[11] but Ashley left shortly after opening due to a dispute with his business partner. Ashley's El Sieco's reopened next door to the previous spot on Newport High Street in 2018 and continues to do well.


  1. ^ Best, Jessica (21 February 2010). "Threat to legendary Newport nightclub". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  2. ^ "TJ's music venue owner John Sicolo dies in hospital". BBC. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  3. ^ Domino records on TJ's
  4. ^ Mansfield, Ruth (15 March 2010). "Owner of legendary TJs - John Sicolo - dies". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  5. ^ "Bullet for My Valentine biography". BBC News. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  6. ^ "Tributes paid to John Sicolo - TJ's owner and hero to music lovers". South Wales Argus. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  7. ^ "Newport tribute gig to TJ's owner John Sicolo". BBC. 10 July 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  8. ^ TJ's Sold at Auction
  9. ^ "Police investigating suspected arson at former nightclub TJ's". South Wales Argus. 2 February 2013.
  10. ^ "Noise complaints force closure of Newport's 200 club, run by grandson of legendary TJ's owner, John Sicolo". South Wales Argus. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  11. ^ El Sieco's opens

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°35′26.80″N 2°59′29.11″W / 51.5907778°N 2.9914194°W / 51.5907778; -2.9914194