Venues: Central New Jersey has had it's abundance of home venues/ house shows/locations for some time, changing from address to address in a moment's notice, but a fairly active scene. We recently lost New Brunswick's Court Tavern, a club that booked original music for decades, through many genres. It was a huge loss to the patrons of the bar, as well as bands needing a venue in that area to play, who were from all corners of the country, and to anyone just needing that live music fix.
Two days ago I went to the grand opening show at the Warehouse Motor Club, a new venue in Middlesex, NJ. It's a team-run, decent sized space in a cement walled warehouse. The venue capacity looks to be well over 400 people; I didn't see an occupancy sign. Initial impressions: they're gonna have to move the slot car track in the back if they have bigger shows; more people in it may make it sound a little less reverberant, but there is a need for more sound absorption material in the venue's future. It's an all-ages venue, so there is no alcohol, which will bring loyal youngsters, maybe alienate the heavy drinkers; matinees may be the way to go; there is a snack bar. There was a bit of record distro action as well as a space for band merch. I didn't check the bathrooms, so no latrine report today! It's got the racing flag motif and signs all over the place, they've got branding going on, light trusses, what looks to be a sturdy stage, and an arm wrestling station! All a great way to start, and time will tell how everything goes; they'll figure out what works and what doesn't. I certainly wish them the best of luck! Sunday's show featured Night Birds, Altered Boys and Real Cops. If they can get people to migrate to and venture from further areas, we may have a great new energetic spot in New Jersey, which is sorely needed. Clip on those jumper cables!
Night Birds will be playing live on the Fun Machine on May 17th, right before they skip down to Baltimore to open for Screeching Weasel and The Queers, at Sonar. On Friday 5/18, they'll be heading to the city of brotherly love to open for Cock Sparrer and the Cro-Mags at the Starlight Ballroom. Check the Night Birds out in Albany on 5/25 with The Casualties, Neutron Rats and Dead Aces at Bogies if you're in the neighborhood. Here's a couple of pix of the Night Birds from the Warehouse Auto Club. If you like your punk rock something like 80's SoCal style, then you want to hear these guys, tune in next Thursday; they'll be playing at 12:30!