Connecticut has one of the most thriving punk scenes in the country. It’s full of support and is known to bring in bands from out of state to play with tremendous local bands. This summer alone, The Virus and Union 13 graced our fine state.
When most people think about seeing punk bands they think of Masonic lodges, VFW halls, or basements in some suburban neighborhood. However, one of, if not the best place to see CT punk is at the El N Gee club in New London, which is in danger of closing its doors.
With its rich history of being a hangout for punks, hardcore kids, and ska bands, the El N Gee has been a staple venue to see some of the best local, regional, and national acts for the past few decades. Every punk rocker can tell you stories of seeing Hatebreed, Death Threat or The Pist before they exploded onto the national market. Even kids coming of age today can say they have seen the likes of some of the hardest working bands in the state.
Maybe learning a few things from guys like Joaquin Gouin (who is responsible for the majority of the booking at the Gee), Ben Social (Sadplant), and Johnny Disaster (Cry Havoc) who are consistently playing all over the country and bringing in some of the best bands and shows in recent years. We have seen it before with places like The Tune Inn (New Haven), The Anthrax (Norwalk), and even The Sting (New Britain). Places close, people move on, and the smells and sights become nothing but a faded memory.
However the CT Punks won’t let this good thing go without a fight. (The El N Gee is believed to close its doors come October). There have already been various shows booked in order to “Save The Gee.”
In addition to some great shows being booked there is also a phenomenal 83 track compilation that has recently been released via the bandcamp.com site http://savethegeecompilation.bandcamp.com/.
Bands like Common Enemy, M-13, Reagan Youth, Dead City Riot, Progress, and The Damn Broads have donated tracks to this compilation in hopes that any money raised can go straight to one of Connecticut’s best clubs. Punk is not dead. It’s alive and well and is fighting for what it believes in. Connecticut punks believe in a venue that is supportive of its bands and patrons, a hangout for kids who can feel accepted, where walking into a place with spikes and studs all over your jacket with patches on your jeans won’t get you weird looks, but will make you feel alive and fill you with passion as a band plays the best three chords you’ve ever heard in your life.
Those kids call 86 Golden Street in New London home. If the El N Gee closes its doors where will they go? Where will the bands play? Where will the next circle pit be? Let’s all help “Save The Gee.”