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Dead Kennedys Newcastle 24th May gig review

Posted on May 25, 2008
Filed Under Gigs | 2 Comments

Dead Kennedys set list

I ended up doing the stage management at the Dead Kennedys gig at The Academy in Newcastle last night so thought I'd review the event.

First on were Newcastle's Crashed Out. I have seen them so many times now but first time with their new drummer who is pretty damn good and gave the sound an extra edge. I think they've been doing the same set for too long now but with time more people seem to be familiar with the material and the crowd response was enthusiastic and there's no doubting that they've got the set down to a fine art. My favourite track is 'Fat Punks Don't Pogo', well worth a listen.  Hopefully it won't be too long before they record some new material with their new drummer.

Second up were tour support Guns On The Roof from Leeds. A young punk band who I've seen several times before but never been particularly impressed by. However, things finally seem to be falling into place for them and they were hugely improved, helped no end by their charismatic new singer. Unsurprisingly being in their early 20s they are influenced by the more recent American bands and they seemed to be better received by the younger audience. This tour support should help them loads but without the support of a good label I wonder how far they can go?

The Dead Kennedys had just two original members: East Bay Ray and Klaus Flouride, plus two new members: Skip on vocals and Dave Scheff on drums. Working with them was a total pleasure, no egos, tantrums or the bullshit that you so often get with the older bands, four nicer people you couldn't wish to meet.

So to the show. This was only the third show with this line-up and it unfortuately showed. A few of the songs suffered from flase starts which was sloppy. New singer Skip did a very good job - sure he ain't no Jello but then I was pleased he didn't try to be. They did all the obvious songs apart from Halloween but at about 65 minutes the set could have been longer.

I thoroughly enjoyed it but opinions were divided, some people didn't.

As this will probably be their last UK tour if you get the chance to catch one of their last few shows I recommend you do.


2 Responses to “Dead Kennedys Newcastle 24th May gig review”

  1. DW on May 26th, 2008 11:00 pm

    Interesting review – cheers. Anyone know why October File didn’t appear as they were supposed to be supporting?

  2. Justin Openshaw on May 30th, 2008 8:58 am

    Heres my DK review from London

    Electric Ballroom, Camden, London, UK 18TH May 2008

    Having seen the Dead Kennedys first time round at the Lyceum ballroom in 1981, I would never imagined that 27 years later I would be seeing them again. However, in the age when everyman and his dog who has ever been in a band for at least 5 minutes decides to reform it can be of no surprise then , that bands with pedigrees such as the DKs do the same. I have to attend such gigs with an open mind, times move on, politics change, as does the hairlines and the personnel. This is`nt the 80s anymore, and perhaps some of the lyrics and political leanings are now obsolete. When I first heard that the DKS had reformed without motormouth Jello, I was a tad suprised and disappointed. Surely DKS without Jello is like the `pistols without Rotten , U2 without Bono, and egg without…..er chips. Anyway, tonight I found myself at the Electric Ballroom, which also doubles up as a market hall in the week, in the posey (some say trendy) Camden Town. I miss the support acts, and walk into a heaving throng of bodies, the place is rammed. The Dks have again changed the singer and I know nothing about the new guy, expect he sings in some rock band I`ve never heard of. He bounces on stage and throws himself straight into it. The music is the DKS sure, but….hhmmmm, he aint no Jello. What I liked about Jello was his constant talk between songs and interaction with the crowd, he also did some bizzarre theatrics. All that is missing tonight, as one song goes into the next and then into the next. the crowd is slow to respond at first, but picks up for `Nazi Punks` and `Too drunk to fuck`. There is a small crowd at the front in the moshpit, but most seem to be content just watching the band. The crowd is a mixed bunch, varying in ages and nationalities, but I expect there are a few tourists in here tonight. The singer jumps off stage and sings leaning over the barrier and the crowd, he disappears from view in a sea of sweaty heads. Give him his due, he is making an effort, but the songs dont quite sound right, as they miss the distinctive whining tone of Biafra. The guitar still sounds good, but I feel like im watching a glorified tribute band. There is no energy coming off the other band members and Klaus Flouride looks almost bored. They play for over an hour and play all the usual suspects but I come away feeling disillusioned that such a fine band has been reduced to plugging the massive hole left by Jello Biafra with someone who does`nt really fit the bill. Perhaps Jello Biafras shoes are just too big to fill ?

    by Justin Openshaw,

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