Dead Kennedys. Holiday in Coolangatta.
Dead Kennedys, The Bennies, Bitter Lungs - Saturday 4 October 2014, Coolangatta Hotel
Couch dragged on stage, Bitter Lungs scream merchant Toby Bennett is harbouring a busted leg and a sunny hawaiian shirt. In defiance of crutches, their brand of hardcore is played to it's strengths. The last 5 minutes left to 3, who smash out an instrumental fit for the occasion.
"Let's get ready to fuckin' party!" Effervescent frontman Anty Horgan, connects with the spread out spectators. Crashing in with Party Smashers and Mushroom Tea, and The Bennies are about to make some new friends. Some urgency around the front and Horgan lets us in, "The first time we met The Dead Kennedys, the drummer gave us some weed." In homage, Sensi-Mi is thrown down to an all singing, Brisbane travelling following. Being led by the party and one determined 4-piece, it isn't long before the venue is dancing the night away in drunk, careless, glorious style. One Stu Rat from Goon on the Rocks, takes lead vocals for a verse of My Bike, while Anywhere You Wanna Go's Op Ivy inspired lyrics "You're earning money and your spending it the right way" hits all the right notes for this beach side establishment.
Close up and unknown to themselves, appreciation of the musical accomplishment of this band is rife. Drummer, Bowie, is as passionate about his short shorts as he is about his hard hitting, fluid drum pattern behaviour. Jules Rosenberg is on form, kicking out vocals and 6-string solos that match his well above 6ft rock inspired, good nature. Craig Salek spins out ska-funk inspired bass riffs and tuneful lyrics, effortlessly supporting the pleasant insanity of Horgan's samples. This "Doom-Ska-Punk-Party" band stand by themselves, crossing genres without fitting in completely. A perfect combination for taking their next stop, the US, by storm.
Dead Kennedys kick off with "Blood and mayhem" after Forward to Death and Rawhide. Taking their time to fix levels before heading into Kill the Poor, the microphone stand wielding Ron 'Skip' McSkipster declares, "Don't forget if you are not with us, we are against you." Tonight is a Fresh Fruits For Rotting Vegetables show, Lets Lynch the Landlord and I Kill Children getting airplay. Water is thrown over those crushed against the barrier during Too Drunk Too Fuck, Skip jumping in and out of fan reach.
"Be the change that you want to see and tell those outback redneck mutha fuckers to fuck off!" gives rise to feet stomping and choruses of Nazi Punks Fuck Off . DH Peligro is having the time of his life in "Coolanghetto", while Klaus Flouride steadily delivers the goods on his signature Fender Jazz bass. Introductions, after the "new wave" of Moon Over Marin giving each member a voice. California Uber Alles ends this main course of full blown fuckery, that sometimes misses a beat, perhaps due to "The Bennies, they got us so high in the back."
The first re-appearance hooking into MTV Get Off The Air, Viva Las Vegas and Holiday in Cambodia. A third coming demanded by the swollen youths of the past and the Kennedys oblige with hand shakes, high fives and Chemical Warfare blended sarcastically with Sweet Home Alabama to end the night.
Words and photos by Kenada Q