As the legendary punk veterans announce details of a June Liverpool date, Getintothis’ Chris Burgess takes a look at the San Franciscan troublemakers.
Great news for Liverpool punk fans – the seminal Californian hardcore legends Dead Kennedys return for their first gig in the city since 1982.
A pioneering force in America’s punk movement in the late 70s and early 80s. They were one of the defining hardcore punk bands of that time, mixing socio-political commentary with breakneck-speed punk rock tunes and plenty of sarcastic, satirical snarl.
The band were a massive influence in the American hardcore scene, also inspiring the likes of Nirvana, System of a Down and Foo Fighters. Their brand of political bite set them aside from their contemporaries – taking on the establishment in a direct manner, rather than falling back on the bleak ‘no future‘ nihilistic tone set by other bands of that era.
Tracks such as Holiday In Cambodia, California Uber Alles, Too Drunk to Fuck and Nazi Punks Fuck Off have become punk classics since their release, covered by bands such as Nomeansno, Napalm Death, Faith No More and Sepultura.
Their morbid humour and controversial subject matter seems even more shocking today (take the tongue-in-cheek titles of I Kill Children and Kill The Poor for example) and the band faced an obscenity charge in the US over H.R. Giger‘s Penis Landscape poster included in their Frankenchrist LP.
Despite the absence of former frontman Jello Biafra (due to more lawsuits and a rather nasty falling out with the rest of the band), Dead Kennedys have triumphed since reforming in 2001. The line-up for the forthcoming live shows consists of original members East Bay Ray, Klaus Flouride and DH Peligro, with and Wynona Ryders singer Ron “Skip” Greer taking over Biafra‘s vocal duties.
The band play Liverpool’s O2 Academy on Friday 26 June. Tickets are available now.
In 1982 they played The Warehouse – wherever that was.