Dead Kennedys - Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh

The Dead Kennedys are one of the biggest Punk bands to come out of the US.
Originally formed in 1978, the band released their debut single "California Uber Alles in 1979, followed by album Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables a few months later. The band went on to release three more albums and numerous singles, touring the world to great acclaim, finally calling it a day in 1986.

The DK's reformed in 2001 minus original vocalist Jello Biafro with Ron "Skip" Greer currently handling singing duties. As a "small child" I was fortunate enough to witness the Dead Kennedys show promoting their debut album at Edinburgh's legendary Nite Club venue so I was curious to see what the group were up to playing in the same city almost thirty years later!

I imagine several of the audience had also caught the Nite Club performance as the venue was full of 30 / 40 something ex Punkers however it was great to see a strong attendance from young fans too. Original band members East Bay Ray on guitar and Klaus Flouride on bass were joined on stage by Skip and Dave Scheff on drums.

The band's set was pulled from all points of their career with each song devoured by the manic hot and sweaty crowd down the front as numerous men old enough to know better performed topless chicken dancing in a playful mosh pit, slipping and sliding on pints of lager previously launched in the air or dropped from the balcony above!

Stand out tracks for me were all the earlier material, including astounding versions of singles "Too drunk to fuck", "Holiday in Cambodia" and "California Uber Alles" which heralded the moshpit arrival of a fairly prim looking woman in her 40's who proceeded to jump about and punch her fists in the air with a crazy look on her face, retreating to the side of the hall on the songs completion!

There were also some great album tracks to be heard, with "Nazi punks fuck off", "MTV get off the air", "Let's lynch the landlord" and set closer "Chemical warfare" all going down a treat with audience. Although the music on offer was aggressive there was a fairly good natured atmosphere to the evening, something that was always lacking at the violent punk shows in Scotland first time around.

Skip worked well as a charismatic frontman, slightly resembling Biafra but doing his own thing too, leading to some humorous banter between songs. I've been asked a few times since the gig if it's worth heading along to see a show with only two original members. I'd say it's certainly merits attending as it gives you chance to hear the legendary guitar and bass riffs from several punk classics performed live with an enthusiastic front man keeping you entertained and amused throughout, leading to an enjoyable, exciting and fun evening.

Check out the Dead Kennedys My Space page to see if they're playing a town near you.

Category Gig Review

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