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PJ's

 
 

Location:

Truro

 
     
 

With thanks to QueeninCornwall for the history of PJ's

Although only fairly short lived, PJ's was one of the county’s most popular clubs during the late 60s, putting on both local and national bands.

After the demise of Truro's Room At The Top owners David Penprase and Peter Bawden (both previously of the Staggerlees) would go their separate ways. David opened a RATT in Redruth and Pete set up PJ's in a semi-derelict part of Truro.

Taking its name from Pete's first initials the venue was housed in a building on the site now occupied by New Look at the corner of Pyder St and Moresk Rd. In the mid-60s the area was under development but the council, but it's plans were taking longer than expected. This meant that Pete was able to rent out the property cheap, while it was waiting it's fate.

The building was most likely the one labelled A on the picture below, although the buildings surrounding it had been demolished by the time the club was up and running.

The PJ's building to the left of this photo

The entrance to the venue was on Moresk Rd and the building was over two floors. Downstairs housed a coffee and griddle bar, as well as a pool table. The venue had no license. Upstairs the stage was located at the Pydar St end of the building and had seating around the edges. There was also a large mural of Jimi Hendrix painted on the wall, which was also covered in wood panelling.

Sketch of the layout

The venue was somewhat rough and ready, which was part of its charm. Due to its location in the middle of a development area commented that it was like visiting a bomb site!

The club opened on 13 December 1968, with local band The Onyx kicking things off with the first live gig on 7th January. It would open Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, but a couple of nights in the week. The focus was on live music, but there was some disco nights as well DJ's (including Gerry Gill and Johnny Bigg) playing music throughout the evening. There was a glass booth which housed the DJ's, it also had its own rather primitive light show. As it was a fairly small venue there was no dressing room, so bands had to arrive ready to go on stage and mill around in the crowd when not playing.

She Trinity live on stage

With thanks to Mike Harwood

The venue hosted many Queen related gigs. Pre-Queen band Smile performed on numerous occasions and it was the first gig where the band was advertised in print as Queen. DJ Johnny Bigg remembers loaning Brian May a sixpence to use during his set (he is well known for using the coin as a plectrum) and he never seeing it again!

Over it's short period the venue built up a reputation for good quality gigs, veering somewhat towards the underground scene. As well as hosting gigs from local bands it played host to groups like Smile/Queen, Smoke, T2 and Mighty Baby.

Marvelous Kid live at PJ's

The venue ended around 1971. Pete sold PJ's to Mike Grose around the time be became Queen's bassist. Pete continued to work in the music business, initially booking bands in Cornwall (such as Queen at Truro City Hall) before moving to London to work for EMI.

The club was always going to be a temporary venture and eventually the development of the top end of Truro city centre was completed. There was talk of building an underground club, bit this never materialised. The site was demolished and a new building took its place (originally Tesco's, then C&Q, now New Look).

The site of PJ's in 2011

 

GIG LIST

With thanks to QueeninCornwall, here's a list of the band that played at the venue

1968

Opens on December 13th
December 26th Clouds ('one of the best club groups in the country')

1969


Jan 7th Onyx
Jan 14th Vigilantes
Jan 21st Jason's Mind ('representing the group whose guitarist was voted best instrumentalist of the recent Cornwall Group Championship')
Jan 28th Empty Vessels ('BOOB! last weeks blurb said that the best instrumentalist was a member of Jasons Mind when in fact Colin plays for The Good Times')
Feb 4th Gin House ('presenting the DJ Fat Mo, not to be confused with our cloakroom attendant Chairman Mo')
Feb 11th The Onyx
Feb 18th The Vigilantes
Mar 4th The Good Times
Mar 11th Constable Zippos Electric Commode Band
Mar 18th Gin House
Mar 21st Mission Impossible
Mar 22nd The Good Times
Mar 25th The Other Five
Mar 28th Smile ('who have appeared at Londons top clubs and recently broadcase on Radio 1s Top Gear')
Mar 29th Smile
April 4th The Good Times
April 5th Onyx
April 8th Ginhouse
April 12th Bobby Knight Showband
April 18th Smile ('Beautiful sounds from one of the best bands ever to visit the county')
April 22nd Empty Vessels
April 25th Scorpions
April 26th Sponge
May 10th Grass
May 13th The Onyx
May 17th Made in England
May 20th The Late
May 24th Mosaic
May 27th Red Squares ('group who was voted No1 in Scandinavian pop poll')
May 31st Bobby Knight Soul Show
June 3rd Jimmy Powell and the Five Dimensions
June 10th Tanglewood (formerly Empty Vessels)
June 14th Confusion
June 17th Bent Cement
June 21st Mosaic
June 24th Constable Zippos Electric Commode Band
June 28th Smile ('special attraction')
June 29th Smile
July 1st The Mood
July 5th Onyx ('With their new record 'Tamaris Khan' heading for the hit parade...')
July 8th Universal Colour ('Incredible 4-piece from Cambridge - and for those who kindly asked Smile will be back on July 19th)
July 12th The Bobby Knight Show ('owing to objections from another club Misunderstood will now be appearing at a later date')
July 19th Smile ('The fantastic, beautiful...')
July 26th Good Times ('Welcome back to the fantastic new 4-piece)
August 5th The Red Squares
August 9th She Trinity ('Englands No1 All-girl group' ...Every week Kevin and Johnny Two of the best DJs in the country (theyre lousy in the town but great in the country!)')
August 16th Constable Zippo's Band ('this weekend featuring tow of the best groups on the Progressive Blues Scene')
August 17th Mr Lucifer
August 22nd The Embers
August 23rd The Late
August 29th Sky
August 30th Made in England ('At last!')
September 6th Easy Moses
September 13th Smile + Mr Lucifer ('a mind-blowing Progressive Blues Concert...with DJ and compere Kevin....DONT FORGET TO SMILE!)
September 14th Smile + Mr Lucifer
September 19th Chimera ('only 32 and a half new pence to members')
September 27th Mosiac
October 4th Great Expectations
October 11th Smoke ('recent hit My Friend Jack')
October 12th Locomotive (Recently in the charts with 'Rudis in Love')
October 19th Coconut Grove
November 1st Golliwog
November 8th Toast ('Radio One Stars!)
November 14th Onyx (Fantastic double event at PJs the opening of the the new coffee and griddle bar...Onyx who have a great new recrod 'Time Off' released on the same day. Next week Mr Lucifer)
November 23rd Mr Lucifer (The Best in Blues)
November 30th Mr Lucifer (Owing to thousands of requests (mainly from their agent!) we once again have pleasure in presenting the incredible....)
December 7th Bacchus
December 14th Mother Child
December 23rd The Onyx ('...A Cool Yule and a Hippy New Year')
December 26th Smile ('with surprise Guest Artistes')
December 27th Wishful Thinking

1970


January 17th 'Smile'
January 31st 'Safron'
February 1st 'Joseph's Gathering'
Febaury 21st 'Poor Fish'
Feb 28th 'Mr Lucifer'
March 7th 'Smile'
March 8th 'Smile'
April 2nd (Thursday) Talent Night
April 3rd 'Third Ear Band'
April 4th 'Made in England'
April 10th 'Mighty Baby'
April 11th 'Sky'
April 17th 'Smile'
April 18th 'Smile'
May 1st 'High Tide'
May 2nd 'Wizard' and 'Temple Creatures'
May 8th 'Formerly Fat Harry'
May 15th 'Warm Dust' (heads of the world unite and listen to more Friday night mind music...)
June 6th 'Mr Lucifer'
June 13th 'Marvelous Kid' (debut of new super group)
July 25th 'Queen' ('formerly Smile')
August 6th 'Free' (Truro City Hall)
August 7th 'No Joke' Tim Staffel, Mick Grose and Nigel Uren
August 15th 'Figg'
August 16th 'Group Contest'
September 5th 'Marvelous Kid'
September 12th 'T2'
October 3rd 'Ginhouse'
Octbober 10th 'Julians Treatment'
October 24th 'Gracious'
November 7th 'New Federation'
November 21st 'Orange Bicycle'
December 24th 'Marvelous Kid'

1971.

PJs ads in the West Briton are less frequent and less prominent in 1971
January 9th Medicine Head
January 16th Julian's Treatment

smaller adverts with different logo from here on:
March 6th Safron
March 13th Cloven Spirit ('plus Kev Stuart')

Shortly before closing PJs briefly becomes 'Camelot Club' St Clement Street, Truro
April 24th New Federation
April 25th Kentucky
May 1st Swinging Blue Jeans (by popular demand we are now open every day except Monday)
May 4th Porky
May 8th 4 Wheel Drive
May 12th Marvellous Kid

 

 
     
 

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