It was an odd setting, SNFU with the “back from half dead” Mr. Chi Pig (aka Ken Quinn) were to play Hamburg. I knew it ain’t the SNFU i adored in the 80s and 90s, but still it was a date not to let go. Unfortunately they had to play Hamburg in a summer heat and during school holidays, so turnout was rather low. They where paired with two “modern” hardcore bands from the UK, who had to face a rather empty Hafenklang.
Persplex Flesh turned out to be both visually and musically challenging but had something special. I did even like one song in the middle of their set, a cool blend of US Post Hardcore and whathaveyou…not too bad but sure not somethiong that i can enjoy on a record. I did capture a quick snipit though:
In case you want to check it out more, try this – it ain’t bad actualy:
Next on where Mob Rules from the UK and their quick sound check was Jazzcore. Then it went downhill for my liking (be it the musick or the bearded singer), so we did flee to the outside to have a beer and see Mr. Chi Pig strolling around and talking to fans.
Next thus where SNFU. I do dig Candian punk – be it Forgotten Rebels, D.O.A., NoMeansNo/Hanson Brothers, Chixdiggit, Doughboys, Propagandhi, Pointed Sticks, Night Prowler, Bishops Green and and and. And then SNFU. They where always there when US/CAN punk came into view in the early 80s and became a landmark with their first record in 1985 on BYO. And then some more and some great live shows in Hamburg. And then it went quiet and only through the movie ” Open Your Mouth and Say… Mr. Chi Pig” in 2010 i became fully aware what happened and what route Ken Chinn choose to go through or for a lack of better words “down”. And it was really a fully professional meth junkie homeless career. Now he is back for good (or money, don’t know), sans Teeth and Body and thus no voice left to carry the songs, especially the slower ones.
And odd he looks. Behind his back some of the younger people made some really ill jokes – not deserved. What did we get? The musical backdrop was perfect: from song to song they became tighter and gave the impression that they are enjoying it. The only sad thing was the toothless, voiceless and skinny singer who looked like sometime … lost. That was the sad part. But the longer it went, the better it got. At the end i really enjoyed it and thought “oh my good, how great would they be if Ken did not choose to cook his brain with meth?”.
But see and listen yourself for some sound bits (and mind you, like every great singer Ken enters the stage from the audience!):
Did this rock? Yes it did! In the end i think around 120 people went home happy but also – if they listened carefully – they should have noted Ken to state this was to be the last time he played Hamburg. So thanks Ken and thanks to the 30+ rooster of SNFU over the times: 1981 to 2014 is a hell of time (it is more than half of my life) – well done. I will always dig your records!
This blog entry already sends shivers down my spine. This is one of the bands that realy mean a lot to me and i have always adored (little did i know about the in’s and out’s of SNFU). Regular records, regular tours and both records and shows where great – with a bonus for a real energetic live show. Over the years they went silent and by the end of the 80’s they broke up. Only to re-surface in the 90’s even stronger, disappear again and pop by another time and then go bust when Singer Ken Chin decided on a full blown meth carrer incl. loosing all property and becoming homeless.
Nevermind, next to their 1996 Album “FYULABA” on Epitaph this is one of the best hardcore records from over there (and not US, this is CAN) and i think at least one SNFU records will make it into my alltime top 10. Thus the verdict:
1977 – sure thing. a variety of speed, great axe-work and eye-watering slow songs like “Black Cloud” – true 1977!
published by a cool lable – Better Youth Records from LA, no question about coolness thanks to the Stern-Brothers of Youth Brigade/BYO fame (and a cool name too, btw)
found in a cool shop – that was Konneckschen again, all my 70’s and 80’s records are from there!
catching sound – if this is not catching you, then you have a musick-al health problem!
not too bad words – a song about the struggle with parents who dislike the music with a small shiny light on record collectors feelings – i was touched forever, see yourself:
I pride my record collection, it's the only thing I like to do But, my dad insists they're evil things with satanic messages in their grooves He says he knows this for a fact cause the good lord told him so And he doesn't want the voice of Satan raging through his humble home. Those records are the devil's music And no son of mine's gonna listen to them Sorry son, but you have no choice I just can't have you hearing that devil's voice I told him to shut up and he punched my face He then grabbed a sledgehammer from out back and sabotaged my record rack He crushed all my imports and rarities He didn't even save the picture sleeves! Afterwards I felt so weak with each broken record died a part of me Those records are the devil's music And no son of mine's gonna listen to them Sorry son, but you have no choice I just can't have you hearing that devil's voice Sorry son, you have no choice i said you have no choice do you have choice? (c) 1986 Better Youth Publishing (ASCAP)
And, to round it off, the back cover shows the band with a hockey stick – something that did touch me even more, esp. as i spend all of the 80’s watching and supporting hockey in Hamburg.
And now listen up:
See them live, back then, Feb 1987 in Kansas:
And this is the 2014 re-incarnation in the rehersal studio:
And the downhill struggle for Kevin is a sad story and was captured in a touching movie, see the trailer:
Nowadays Kevin seems to be back alive – i assume he is trying to earn a living. Still – shivers!
SNFU, Kevin Chinn – THANK YOU! See their 2014 show in Hamburg featured here!
Sad update in July 2020:
Ken aka Mr. Chi Pig has passed away on June 16th, 2020. His medical condition was bad and i guess his body finally gave up. RIP Mr. Chi Pig – your leave a great legacy!