Gig Preview: Dead Kennedys at 02 Academy, Newcastle (Uploaded 15/06/2017)

Written By: Meghan Ewart

One of the first American punk rock bands to break the UK, Dead Kennedys, bring their controversial lyrics to Newcastle this month.

The band formed in 1978 and have made a huge name for themselves with their thought-provoking songs based on political figures, authority, pop culture and the punk movement itself.

The Californian-born band’s 1980 debut album ‘Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables’ hit at number 33 in the UK album charts. Songs such as their first single ‘California Uber Alles’, released in 1979, got the whole music world talking and provoked the debate of possible rock censorship.

In 1982, the punk rockers’ second album ‘Plastic Surgery Disasters’ caused the bands’ critics to change tact, when the album cover won the ‘Worlds Press Photo Award.’ ‘Frankenchrist’ became the bands’ third album in 1985 before they split in 1986 after releasing their final album, ‘Bedtime for Democracy.’

Court attendances and name changes to suit the needs of the media could not deter this band from success. Finally, their self-penned lyrics won them a gold award in June 1987 with their compilation album, ‘Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death.’

Ray, Peligro and Flouride reformed in 2001 despite missing band members and previous refusals from music outlets to sell the bands’ music. And October 2007 saw the release of their best of album, ‘Milking the Sacred Cow.’ Dead Kennedys will revert back to their iconic sounds to please nobody but their fans. Newcastle’s 02 Academy will be the venue where the band are reborn as once again they let the lyrics do the talking.

Dead Kennedys play the 02 Academy, Newcastle on Tuesday 20th June. Tickets, priced at £22.50, are available from

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