Ron ‘Skip’ Greer, The Dead Kennedys Pic: Stuart McKay
Ron ‘Skip’ Greer, The Dead Kennedys Pic: Stuart McKay

Chainsaw Hookers/Leeches
Saturday October 11, 2014

After a brutal set by Leeches, Chainsaw Hookers turned it up to 11 for a frenetic set of favourites that crossed the great divide between GBH and Motörhead, along with some new numbers from their forthcoming second album. Blood rockers My Revenge, Party Man, Never Sleep Again and GG Allin cover, I Kill Everything I Fuck, all got the ever-swelling crowd involved in their abrasive intensity, while stand-in guitarist Horse from The Bob Gordons proves unisonant with the band and their music, dreads flailing madly all the while.

Whenever an iconic band announces a tour without a pivotal member, we worry, but Dead Kennedys proved more than able to live up to their reputation with Ron ‘Skip’ Greer on vocals in place of the legendary Jello Biafra.

Some may have boycotted the event without Biafra being present, but Greer fills those mighty big (though slightly ill-fitting) shoes admirably, even though he evinces many echoes of his forerunner, both vocally and in his mannerisms. Given that Biafra’s uniqueness is so integral to the material that’s hardly surprising.

Greer railed against Tony Abbott, the ‘buffoon’ punks in the mosh pit, the venue shutting down early for a disco, U2 and more, but let’s face it: the posers who showed so little respect for the band and their message – even talking loudly over drummer DH Peligro’s short speech about anti-racism – are too bloody stupid to even realise that they were the subject of ire of many of the band’s songs!

Dead Kennedys, with their mixture of surf guitar, political message, satire and punk attitude, mean something, and are as relevant now as they were in their heyday, and fierce renditions of Winnebago Warrior, Police Truck, Let’s Lynch The Landlord, Too Drunk To Fuck and Nazi Punks Fuck Off all drove the message home with vigour.

Two encores encapsulating Bleed For Me, Viva Las Vegas, Holiday In Cambodia, Chemical Warfare and an supremely sarcastic Sweet Home Alabama were the icing on the cake, shutting the gig down after 68 intense and thoroughly enjoyable minutes.