Queen City Kids

Canadian Classic Rock
Biography

Queen City Kids

Queen City Kids

 

Though their run was short, Queen City Kids left an indelible mark on the face of Canadian rock. Forged from no-nonsense crunching bar-room beats, QCK emerged from Regina in the late '70's by founding members Alex Chiaqui on vocals and guitars, Jeffrey Germain on drums, John Donnelly on bass and guitarist Kevin Fyhn.

While paying their dues on the unpaven back roads of the prairies, they were noticed by Capitol Records. Impressed by their low-production but straight-shooting demo, they signed the group to a deal and the self-titled debut came out in the summer of '81. Recorded at Winnipeg's Century 21 Studios (most noted for Streetheart's work) with Gene Martynec behind the controls, the record had a straight-ahead punch. No mistaking the intention of "Carrying The Stick", it's driving beat pounding in your head. Going-nowhere guitar solo aside, just give me a brick wall baby. "Kids World" and "Follow You There" showed the true versatility of the group, giving a hint of something special, their eclectic side coming out most in "Secret Smoke" and "Down Again", complete with layered harmonies. Regional tours followed, seeing them in bars and small gigs all across the western provinces and into the states.

The Kids came back a year and a half later with BLACK BOX. More tight guitar trade-offs between Fyhn and Chiaqui with Donnelly and Germain holding the backbeat was the concept. With Rob Freeman as producer, the "just gotta make your feet move" single "Dance" and the title track helped circulate the group's message of straight-forward rock and roll. "Girls" was also heavy on the FM playlists that summer as the third single helped break new ground, showing they were capable of the tender power ballad as well as the guitar crunching sound paved with the first record. Another extensive tour of small and medium sized dates ensued, this time taking the group to eastern Canada and deeper in the US.

Unfortunately Capitol Records pulled the plug on QCK after BLACK BOX , opting not to extend their contract. Nonetheless, the group carried on, doing bars, fairs and the like until their breakup in the late 80's. A compilation of the two records was released in 1989, and is definitely worth searching out.

QCK's run was indeed short album-wise, and though they enjoyed limited success outside the prairie provinces, their sound was unmistakeable. Whether they dazzled you with their musical expertise or drove home their message the old fashioned way, when you played their records or saw them live, you knew the party was about to begin.

Written by Dan Brisebois of
CanConRox


Discography

Queen City Kids
Queen City Kids (1981)

Peace of Mind
Follow You There
Kids World
Don't Say You Didn't Try
Secret Smoke
Empty Eyes
Carrying The Stick
Excitement of Love
Down Again
Nothing's Gonna Change My Mind

Black Box
Black Box (1982)

Black Box
Chains
In Your Eyes
Dance
Girls
Crazy In Love
Ripped Off
Looking For You
Rock and Roll Junkie
Bangin' On The Door

Best Of
Best Of (1989)

Dance
Girls
In Your Eyes
Black Box
Crazy In Love
Carrying The Stick
Secret Smoke
Ripped Off
Kids World
Follow You There
Down Again


Other Biographies

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