Back when Blue Note was Swing Kids, ca. 1994
  • Back when Blue Note was Swing Kids, ca. 1994
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Last month, several members of the 1990s hardcore/screamo band Swing Kids reunited for a European tour under the name Blue Note, with local All Leather guitarist Nathan Joyner in place of the late Eric Allen, who committed suicide in 1998, shortly after the band split.

Several previous Swing Kids reunions were staged by frontman Justin Pearson in 2009, with latterday Kid Jimmy LaValle filling in for Allen. “Eric’s presence was notably lacking,” recalls original Kid John Brady. “As much as we tried to capture what was there before, it could never be the same without him.”

So why this newest reunion? “Marco Walzel, at Avocado booking in Munich, who incidentally booked us for some German shows in 1996, asked if we would come over to do a tour in honor of the 15th anniversary of his booking agency. We were the first band he ever booked, and he wanted us to help celebrate by reforming...but, this time, we didn’t quite think it was fair to play as Swing Kids.” Thus, Blue Note was named after a Swing Kids song.

The tour turned dramatic in Nuremberg, with opening act Wolves Like Us, from Oslo, Norway. “The Wolves guys were quite distracted when they got into town, because of the bombing and shooting that had happened in Oslo that day,” blogged Brady. “Apparently, their rehearsal space had all of its windows blown out, and the bombing happened in an area of town that they regularly hang out [and] work in.”

In Geneva, Switzerland, “The show there last night was kind of lackluster...it was poorly attended.”

In Belgium, “[The band] was a bit sloppy and plagued by technical difficulties, amp issues, broken strings, etc...”

After their London gig, “This was one of two times that I have seen JP [Justin Pearson] drunk...he very rarely drinks, so this was a rare occasion, and a funny one at that.” The tour wrapped up the week of August.

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Jay Allen Sanford Aug. 17, 2011 @ 12:45 p.m.

The reunited and re-named Swing Kids will play Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center on Saturday, September 10.

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