Sunday, March 14, 2010

Venueobit: John Sicolo

John Sicolo, founder and owner of TJs in Newport, has died.

The venue originally started its life as a steak restaurant, operating under the name of Cedar's Rest. It then had a spell as an American-themed diner before John bought the building next door, knocked through and eventually rebranded the whole place TJ's Disco. The J was for John; the T was Trilby, John's late partner.

John was half Welsh, half Seychellian, and had learned to cook during his time in the merchant navy. The restaurant business was supposed to have been the plan when he came ashore, but somehow he ended up running one of the nation's best-loved, longest-running circuit venues.

Beloved by John Peel, Kurt Cobain and Richey Edwards, any band worth seeing live over the last thirty years has played there. Including Scarfo, even.

If you've never had the pleasure, there's a virtual tour of TJs on their website.

John had been in hospital earlier this week for a knee replacement; the cause of his death at 6am this morning is not yet known.