Children's Hour

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 (their first gig was Christmas Eve 1982 at the Rumba Bar with Dunedin’s The Stones), The Windsor Castle, Mainstreet, all-ages venue S.P.A.M. and on four trips south.

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
Photo credit: Photo by Terry Moore
Children's Hour's 1984 single, Ya! Ya! Ya! recorded at Progressive Studios by Doug Hood and Terry King.
Chris Matthews and Rob Mayes with Children's Hour at Laneway Festival, 31 January 2011, Aotea Square, Auckland.
Photo credit: Photo by Jackson Perry
Chris Matthews at the Children's Hour reformation, Laneway, 31 January 2011, Aotea Square, Auckland
Photo credit: Photo by Jackson Perry
Children's Hour on the 1984 Looney Tour.
Photo credit: Photo by Terry Moore
Children's Hour at Auckland's Rumba Bar - l to r: Grant Fell, Chris Matthews, Johnny Pierce
Photo credit: Photo by Carol Tippet
The poster for Looking For The Sun, 2005, a live CD compilation of Children's Hour songs recorded between March 1983 and March 1984 at New Plymouth’s Bellblock, University of Otago and the Windsor Castle, issued by Failsafe Records.
Children's Hour at Christchurch's Gladstone (a 'F.Nun recording party') and Dunedin's Oriental, November-December 1984
Bevan Sweeney, Laneway, 31 January 2011, Aotea Square, Auckland
Photo credit: Photo by Jackson Perry
A rare handscreened poster for the first Children's Hour EP Flesh, in 1983
Children's Hour at Wellington's Clyde Quay Tavern: Johnny Pierce, Chris Matthews, Bevan Sweeney, Grant Fell
Photo credit: Photo by Peter Aagaard
The 1984 Looney Tour poster
Photo credit: Chris Knox design; Jonathan Ganley Collection
The Looney Tour, February 1984, with promoter Doug Hood, left, with hat
Photo credit: Photo by Terry Moore
Children's Hour 2005 reunion. Rob Mayes, Chris Matthews, Grant Fell, Bevan Sweeney
Caroline's Dream
Chris Matthews, Laneway, 31 January 2011, Aotea Square, Auckland
Photo credit: Photo by Jackson Perry
Chris Matthews on 95bFM's Extended Play: Childrens Hour
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.
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
Grant Fell at the Children's Hour reformation at Laneway, 31 January 2011, Aotea Square
Photo credit: Photo by Jackson Perry

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.


Grant Fell - bass

Johnny Pierce - bass

Bevan Sweeney - drums

Chris Matthews - guitar, vocals

Rob Mayes - bass

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