The Paradise Rock Club is an unlikely venue at the best of times. Situated next door to T’s Pub at 969 Commonwealth Avenue, it’s a small 500 person capacity venue. It has also been the launching pad for numerous trans-Atlantic artists over the past couple of decades; U2, for instance, played their first US gig here. For those of you used to more illustrious larger venues though, it is best described as a little ‘pokey’. Promoters would probably say it is an ‘intimate venue’. Don’t mistake intimate for seedy. The inside is a cross between a comedy club and John Harvard’s, the type of place where you won’t spend the night counting piercings on the girl standing next to you, but you needn’t get dressed up for (in any way, shape or form). Going to a venue like this abroad would inevitably result in your watching the local teen thrash punk band try and make as much noise as possible, musicianship and melody having been cast onto the bonfire of musical quality. However the beauty of the American music scene is that global artists, who are well known internationally but unknown over here, end up ‘starting out’ in places like this. Big international names to play recently include Gomez, Starsailor & the Coral, and the Thrills are due next month. If you’re looking for some interesting bands, this place is definitely worth checking out.