Children's Hour Profile

Andrew Schmidt
13 May 2013

When the smoke cleared on the Auckland post-punk explosion of 1981 and 1982, it revealed a brace of dark, emotionally and musically challenging acts. Children’s Hour’s Chris Matthews (guitar, vocals), Bevan Sweeney, (drums), Grant Fell (guitar) and Johnny Pierce (bass) stood out from that adventurous bunch.

The menacing quartet quickly garnered a rapid reputation for confrontational and disconcerting performance at the Rumba Bar, The Windsor Castle, Mainstreet, all-ages venue S.P.A.M. and on four trips south.

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Children's Hour at Auckland's Rumba Bar - l to r: Grant Fell, Chris Matthews, Johnny Pierce
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The Looney Tour, February 1984, with promoter Doug Hood, left, with hat
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A rare handscreened poster for the first Children's Hour EP Flesh, in 1983
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Caroline's Dream
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Children's Hour 2005 reunion. Rob Mayes, Chris Matthews, Grant Fell, Bevan Sweeney
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Children's Hour at Christchurch's Gladstone (a 'F.Nun recording party') and Dunedin's Oriental, November-December 1984
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The 1984 Looney Tours poster
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Children's Hour at Auckland's Rumba Bar: Johnny Pierce, Chris Matthews, Bevan Sweeney, Grant Fell
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Members of Children's Hour busking on the 1984 Looney Tour. L to R: tour manager Dave Merritt, Bevan Sweeney, soundman Rex Vizible, Chris Matthews and Doublehappy's Shayne Carter.
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Chris Matthews at the Children's Hour reformation, Laneway, 31 January 2011, Aotea Square, Auckland
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Chris Matthews, Laneway, 31 January 2011, Aotea Square, Auckland
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Bevan Sweeney, Laneway, 31 January 2011, Aotea Square, Auckland
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Chris Matthews on 95bFM's Extended Play: Childrens Hour
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On the Looney Tour - the late Johnny Pierce (Children's Hour), the late Wayne Elsey (Doublehappys), Dave Merritt (tour manager), Bevan Sweeney (Children's Hour), 1984
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Grant Fell at the Children's Hour reformation at Laneway, 31 January 2011, Aotea Square
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Looking For The Sun, a collection of period live performances was released on Failsafe Records in 2005. The group re-formed with stand-in bass player, Rob Mayes, to promote the album.

In early 2011, they re-formed for Laneways festival in Auckland.

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Grant Fell - bass

Johnny Pierce - bass

Bevan Sweeney - drums

Chris Matthews - guitar, vocals

Rob Mayes - bass