Saturday In The Park

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 SCW tribute band Some Cliches Wither, followed by SCW, and finishing with Abstress – the organizers of the show.

This performance marked SCW’s final gig as a free inprovisation 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 by Cathie Whittaker

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SCW’s cover version of a fabulous Arthur Jones composition called Sad Eyes

Cassette Culture #2 – Model 152 Blow Gun

SCW’s second release on cassette came out in mid-1985 and was a mixture of new material and live recordings from the Sweet Children of the West show in April that year. The new material continued in the same disco-funk-industrial post-punk style of the first cassette, with added horns in some tunes. This release marked the end of SCW’s use of analogue synths, drum machines and tapes – all future work was done using either ‘real’ instruments played live or digital samplers and effects.

“Model 152 Blow Gun” cassette tape cover – folded out – by PnrH

In the First Days…

Bass, tapes and drum machine…

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Live Show #2 – Sweet Children of the West

On April 17 1985 SCW returned to the Mayfair Hotel in Kitchener, Canada for another performance. This time they performed upstairs at a club called Level 21. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear they performed as Sweet Children of the West; the name would be resurrected later on when they were banned from performing as Sucking Chest Wound. The focus of the show was on videos prepared beforehand and played back on video monitors located throughout the performance space, along with slides projected onto the stage.  SCW performed largely behind screens, occasionally venturing out onto the stage to tweak knobs etc.

Here’s an edit of the performance

Live Show #1 – Chandelier Performance

The first proper SCW performance occurred on November 30, 1984 at the Chandelier Room of the Mayfair Hotel in Kitchener, Canada. The show came about through a Fine Arts course that PnrH was taking at the University of Waterloo. The show was actually marked by his professor and applied towards his credit for the course!

Ticket for the show – by PnrH

Front side of ticket for Chandelier Performance Nov 1984

The performers included all four members of SCW plus an additional four performers recruited for the show. SCW played in the background while the other four were up front using various mic-ed up domestic and industrial tools: Charles on vacuum cleaner/balloon, Jim on sewing machine, Claudio on power tools and John on heavy metal. Film projections and video were also part of the staging. All the performers wore masks cast from their faces with plaster bandages, similar to the ‘death masks’ dating back to the middle ages. The workers rose up against their slave masters but the power tools of the workers were no match for the media tools of their slave masters… Continue reading