Saturday, July 18, 2009

Swans - Live in Bochum 1987

This is an excellent sounding recording of Swans live in 1987 (Children of God era) at Zeche in Bochum, Germany. This is one of those live shows you listen to and think 'fuck, i wish i could have been there'. Completely devastating set. Thanks Ronald. Enjoy.

Swans live in Bochum 9/29/87

Swans are a band you can become easily obsessed with. I only got into them less than 10 years ago and hearing them for the first time was one of those magic moments in music that i really never thought would happen again after the mid '90s. By the time i heard Soundtracks For the Blind, no other band mattered to me for months. I consider Soundtracks to be one of the top 5 greatest pieces of music ever recorded. Fuck, Children of God might make that cut as well.

Children of God (1987) lineup:

Michael Gira - vocals, sounds, keyboards, acoustic guitar
Norman Westberg - electric / acoustic guitar
Jarboe - vocals, all female background vocals, sounds, piano
Algis Kizys - bass
Theodore Parsons - drums, percussion
William Barnhardt - piano on "Blackmail"
Simon Fraser - flute on "In My Garden"
Lindsay Cooper - oboe on "Blackmail" and "Trust Me"
Audrey Riley - cello on "Like A Drug"

Children of God originally released in the US on Caroline Records as a 2xLP (Carol 1346) in 1987 Re-released in 1997 with World of Skin as 2xCD on Gira's own Young God Records (YG02)

You're Not Real Girl, Our Love Lies, New Mind, Blind Love, Blackmail, and Sex God Sex originally released on Children of God (1987)

Your Property originally released on Cop LP (1984)

Wandering Star previously unreleased


  1. i can't count the number of times i would end up playing "great annihilator" and "children of god" over and over.

  2. fuck yes, can't wait to listen to this. thanks!!
    also, Vin, check out Putriddiamonds, i believe you'll enjoy the latest update.

  3. Hey Vinnie! Thanks for all your support and stoppin' by our spot. You can reach us at


  4. thanks for putting that live set up, i really enjoyed it. made a very short entry about your post and linked you blog.

  5. EM, great interview. Freddy's a great guy. Cheers!

    Punk Not Profit, your blog is a daily visit for me. I just saw the Chronic Disorder post and it made my day. I haven't heard that stuff since the late '80s. And thanks for the contact, i had a question for you so i'll be emailing you soon.

    J, thanks for the entry! I just linked your blog.


  6. yeah; thanx for that (and sorry for being late). I was there and even though it was my thrash/death metal period back then this was one insane gig.

  7. oh god in heaven.......

    thank you so much. SWANS are my favorite band. Have been for over 10 years now. CHILDREN OF GOD--- the one record I need.

    thank you

  8. Hi, is it possible to re-post the swans set as it is the only one that once i have downloaded it i cannot transfer it to be burned onto a cdr as mp3's?

    This is very frustrating - iv'e tried to do it 6 times without success !
    Sorry but i'm not sufficiently technically-minded to guess at what the hindrance is/might be , but as i say its the only post that i cannot download and burn to cd - so there must be something amiss/different to this file than all the others .

    I'm a swans fan - and as i was fortunate enough to witness them in 87 when they were playing this set(a killer gig in front of 20 people at The Mermaid in Birmingham, England that was RIDICULOUSLY loud and extremely oppressive) - i would love to have a copy on cdr to play at home .

    Gira played the Mermaid gig naked apart from a shirt wrapped round his waist that flapped aside to expose his ass/genitals for all to share..and Algy Kizys played the set with a kepi(French Foreign Legion hat)turned the wrong way around thus completely covering his face all night.
    As the set began many "indie" kids flocked to the (very low) stage front only to be blasted back by the sheer and unexpected brutality of the volume.
    Same people very quickly realised it was physically impossible to stand there, and left the room altogether as those remaining looked at each other nervously to see who could handle the relentless battering oppression .
    Those assembled that were either playing in quite extreme punk/hc/grind bands,or used to such styles, took up spots at the back of the room which was the only realistic place to suffer/tolerate/survive such extremity .
    It was the general concensus afterwards that we had all witnesssed something much more-and seismically different-to a standard gig. More like a ritual beating we were lucky to have survived.
    Putting a 16k rig in a 50ftx50ft room will torture people by volume.
    Perhaps needless to say-iv'e never experienced anything like it since and i doubt i ever will .

    Thanks for all the great posts - they really are top-stuff .

    If the material exists other than the 7"s would it be possible to give the same treatment to NY bands Our Gang,Nausea,The Lust,Nothing ?
    thanks again

  9. hey man i really appreciate all the time you've put into the blog, so many great uploads, so many i thought i'd never see, like this one.

  10. Swans are perhaps the greatest band of all time. When I first heard them via a friend's copy of Children of God in 1987 I literally could not believe what I was hearing. Unfortunately I'd already missed that tour, but have been lucky enough to see them a few times since. I recently caught them in Manchester (UK) and it was truly transcendent. They make every other group BAR NONE look like a bunch of schoolgirls in comparison. The unbelievable gotterdammerung of Swans at full tilt has not faded with age - go see 'em before it's too late.