Dead Kids - Manchester Roadhouse - 20.7.06

Broken knuckles and acid smiles. Dead Kids arrival in Manchester left us battered, bruised and our ears ringing at the sonic assault.

It was never going to be easy listening though when you consider Michael Frankels previous band Sona Fariq were the unsung heroes of the British Rock Scene with crunchy riffs and skanking beats. Dead Kids brings together Frankel on vocals with assorted members of Roots Manuva, The Prodigy and Trans AM pushing the envelope further for a sound which to the uninitiated sounds like Fugazi barebacking Hard Fi. To the initiated it sounds like they've been passed the baton from The Clash and The Specials and like those bands they manage to mar punk rock intensity with an ear for world beating tuneage.

The last time Frankel played this venue he took to the roof clambering under the lowslung ceiling only to come crashing down onto unsuspecting audience members. This time the venue got news of the impending Dead Kids riot and removed the ceiling a few months early but still with a handful of audience members he's leaving the stage to the showman and pretend poets and getting right up close with the audience shaking them to dance, having a one man fight with himself and breaking his knuckles in the process.

"Fear And Fluoride" starts with walls of feedback and white noise before launching into a tune that is more Stevie Wonder funk as done by the Dead Kennedys than some limp action from Jamiroquai. "Dead Wife Pills" has the dark intensity of a Joy Division tune while Frankel does his best Mike Skinner mockney rhyming slang over the top. The rest of the set continues in a similar fashion with the audience looking on at the spectacle not knowing whether they should be joining in or staying clear of the whirlwind in front of them.

Dead Kids should be absolutely massive and anything less would surely be a travesty

Alex McCann

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