In 1989 SCW as a five-piece disco-jazz-punk-funk live band ceased to exist. Scott left the band, and PnrH – while no longer an active musical member – continued on as SCW’s graphic designer and artist-in-residence. These photos mark one of the final shows of this funky-ass version of SCW.
On December 31 1988 SCW hosted their second annual New Year’s party, once again at ARC on Queen St. West in Toronto. This time they topped the previous year’s show by having four different costume changes, all created by official SCW wardrobe designer Cathie Whittaker.
Here’s a photo gallery highlighting some of the costume changes.
Sometime in 1988, the 5-piece version of SCW posed for photographs at their Queen St. rehearsal space. The band were rocking their silver lamé jackets (custom-made by Cathie Whittaker) plus matching silver helmets. In the background are sculptures by our friend and collaborator William T. “Bill” Francis.
One of SCW’s closest friends and collaborators was the talented and fashionable Karen Young, aka DJ FunKY. Karen produced and directed experimental videos, sometimes using SCW’s music for the soundtrack. Here’s a KY animation from 1988, set to SCW’s track (fough) from our first cassette release.
In 1988 SCW put out their fourth and final cassette-only release, The Band with an International Reputation. Side A of the cassette was titled Crush Grind and Swallow, and contained tracks recorded and overdubbed on multi-track and then mixed down. Side B was titled Disco Dancing With the Best and was recorded direct to cassette, live off the floor at SCW’s Queen St. West studio/rehearsal/living space.
The Band with an International Reputation – cassette insert
The first track is classic SCW, mixing live instrumentation with samples, tape loops, effects etc.
A Pretty Uncomfortable Area
For this cassette release, each band member was invited to write and record their own tracks – here’s one of Roba’s prime cuts.
America Wake Up!
This last track is the live band with overdubs and was recorded and engineered by our friend GBH at his studio. It was also sampled and regurgitated on SCW’s next release, God Family Country.
In the fall of 1987 Sucking Chest Wound expanded into a five piece live disco-jazz-funk-punk band with the addition of guitar hero Scott ‘Skill’ Casey. We weren’t doing this ironically – we really loved to listen to vintage funk and disco, and to spin it at our parties! Here’s a photo gallery of the band members playing live at our 1987 New Year’s Eve show. In the background is one of PnrH’s big paintings – the same one you can see in the previous post’s studio panorama video…
In 1987 dWM and Jeff-o rented a warehouse space off Queen St. West in Toronto. This space provided a proper rehersal studio and production facility for SCW, and also served as a space for other art and music side projects.
SCW added a new member for playing live shows: guitarist Scott “Skill” Casey, specialist in all styles. SCW at this point moved away from the free improvisational style for playing live that they’d adopted since moving to Toronto, and towards a groovy disco-funk thang. In the studio, SCW continued on in the same style as the first two cassette tape releases and the more recent side projects of PnrH and dWM.
Around this time SCW also purchased an Ensoniq EPS sampler. Although it didn’t have much of an impact on SCW’s live disco-funk music, sampling was essential to SCW’s studio recordings, and would define their style throughout the 90’s.
Here’s a panorama of the SCW warehouse space originally recorded on 8mm film
In July of 1987 SCW was invited to play a show in a park back in Waterloo, Ontario where SCW started out from. The city fathers wouldn’t allow SCW to perform as Sucking Chest Wound so the band temporarily changed their name back to Sweet Children of the West, which had been used previously.
The lineup for the show consisted of legendary Waterloo band X-cessive Rancidity, followed by SCW, and finishing with Abstress – the organizers of the show.
This performance marked SCW’s final gig as a free improvisation ensemble. After this show SCW saw the light and was reborn – at least for live shows – as a disco-funk band.
On the way to the show the band stopped by the local St. Vincent de Paul charity shop to buy their stage outfits. Check it out…
Here’s a gallery of photos from the show taken by Cathie Whittaker
SCW’s cover version of a fabulous Arthur Jones composition called Sad Eyes
In January of 1987 the full line-up of SCW finally played another live show – the first since moving to Toronto. The show was at a sleazy nightclub called Ildiko’s above a Hungarian restaurant on Bloor St. in Toronto. SCW played there at the invitation of some friends whose band was also playing. The audience was less than 10 people and they all hated SCW. Unbeknownst to SCW, their friend and collaborators DJ FunKY and William T. Francis had purchased several pounds of raw chicken feet before the show, and proceeded to throw them at the band during our performance. The club owner was not happy about this.
For this show SCW performed strictly improvised music, using drums, bass, guitar, sax, and other noisemakers.The show was recorded on audio tape but the tape has since been lost.
Here’s a gallery of photos from the show taken by DJ FunKY