Call me Russ L

J.B’s to close down, suicide watch organised for members of Guns’n’Roses tribute bands

Posted in Modern Living, Music by Russ L on 10 September, 2010

I recently discovered that Dudley’s J.B’s is in administration. I’d always assumed that their (surely lucrative) tribute/covers band gigs must make enough money to finance the inevitable losses from their European-death-metal-bands-of-interest-to-about-fifteen-people-in-the-whole-of-the-West-Midlands gigs and their 80s-hair-metal-bands-whose-fans-can’t-get-their-zimmerframes-down-Castle-Hill gigs, but apparently not. I suppose a specialist genre-centric venue just ain’t going to survive nowadays, particularly a 1000+ capacity one. This fact will only be reinforced if, as was continually the problem with J.B’s, they make bugger-all effort to spread the word about what’s on there.

I’ve hardly been at all in recent years (the last time would have been December 2008), but I have plenty of both good and bad memories from J.B’s. Specific short anecdotes from the place: I saw the second-best live set I’ve ever seen there, from Neurosis (music so powerful it produced time dilation – I stood there transfixed for what I thought was about half an hour, and turned out to be an hour and a half); turning up to the Thursday club nights just before half nine (it was free to get in up till then), watching the half hour set from whichever local band was on that week, then going home again without having spent any money (I used to think I was being so clever and cunning); the time some random punter remarked to Seany Two Shirts that he liked “this Anti-Jew stuff”, apropos of absolutely nothing (the bands that night weren’t anti-semitic or anything); the toilet cubicle without a door on and the time that I walked round the corner to see it occupied by a bloke with his trousers round his ankles, taking a dump in full view of the world; the time I was walking out of the toilets (they’re not all lavatorial stories, honest) and heard someone behind me shout “Look at his cock! It looks like a cartoon!” (to this day I wonder – in what way?); Leatherface having the funniest between-song banter I’ve ever heard (I don’t remember what they said, all these years later, just that I laughed and laughed); Danny of The Wildhearts getting pulled offstage for being out of it on smack, and replaced for the rest of the set by a member of one of the support bands (who’d once played in a Wildhearts tribute band, aptly for J.B’s); other tales I am probably best off not re-telling, at least not here…

Ah, it’s sad. It wasn’t the best venue but we could really do without A) losing any live music venues at all; and B) losing anything else from Dudley, which has so little left in the town as it is.

There are still gigs booked up till Christmas, it appears. If you want to see WASP or Blaze Bayley or a band featuring Neil Buchanan from Art Attack (no really) then get in there while you still can.


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  1. […] Birmingham: It's Not Shit loves Birmingham and has loads of news and features. If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed.Black news for Black Country fans of Black metal, and other sorts of music, I guess. [link] […]

  2. The Baron said, on 10 September, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    That’s a shame. Not been there much myself over the years but it’s an institution innit? Maybe they’ll turn it into a HMV Institution…there was no need for that was there?

  3. Russ L said, on 10 September, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Dudley HMB’s, perhaps.


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