The Exploited (UK)

Riot starting, bouncer bashing, cop baiting, hotel trashing, foul talking, noise making, chaos causing, venue wrecking, government hating, rule breaking, piss taking, unrelenting, punk rocking…. Clearly we’re not talking about Pepsi adverts here, or indeed the many so-called punk bands that would gleefully sell themselves to such corporate giants for a palm full of silver. Whoo-hoo! The taste of a generation! Fuck off!  Let’s get one thing straight: The Exploited are not ‘punkers’ or any of the other cutesy, watered down, MTV friendly names you might want to call them.
The Exploited are punk rock.
But maybe we should put that into context since it means so many different things. It’s early 1980 and ‘entertainment’ on a Saturday night (or any other night of the week) consists of sitting around at home watching crap on TV or sitting around in a bus shelter drinking cider or sniffing glue. Unless, of course, you’re old enough to drink in the same pub as your dad. Oh the thrill of it all! Punk rock is all you have. It’s your lifeblood, the only thing that makes sense and the only thing to look forward to in a world with ‘no future’. And it’s fucking exciting! The next single, the next gig, the volume coursing through your veins to remind you that you’re alive. Punk rock is a dangerous business. The mere act of looking like a punk will earn you a night in casualty if you’re not careful, and getting to and from one of the few venues that will let punk bands play can literally be a matter of life and death. So, you can cop out and be a part time punk (flatten your hair down for school, work or more likely the dole queue) or follow whatever trend you’re told is ‘in’ this week. The other option, the only other option, is to give to punk rock what it has given to you…everything! If you’re going to be unemployed, then be unemployable! If you’re going to get beaten up, then go down fighting! If you’ve got something to say, then shout it! And most of all, if you’re going to be in an obnoxious punk rock band, then be in a really obnoxious punk band!
This was the route chosen by ex-squaddie Wattie Buchan (vocals), Big John Duncan (guitar), Dru Stix (drums) and Gary McCormack (bass). Right from the start (early 1980, if you were paying attention) there was no toning these Edinburgh punks down, no diluting their music for public consumption.  The Exploited were punk rock.
Released just one year later on the Secret label, their debut album was as much a rallying battle cry as a record. It was called ‘Punk’s Not Dead’ and went on to become the number one independent album of 1981 (before most of the Indies were just majors in disguise), reaching number 20 in the national charts and selling 150,000 copies. Which kind of proved the point. If punk was dead, no one had told the Exploited’s rapidly growing ‘barmy army’. And while admittedly, ‘Punk’s Not Dead’ wasn’t the greatest record ever made, as an opening gambit it was unbeatable and live, the band were nothing short of incredible. The long hot summer of ’81 saw the whole country going up in flames. Real anarchy in the UK as city after city, town after town exploded! A perfect time for the Exploited to co-headline the legendary ‘Apocalypse Now’ tour with fellow punk giants, Discharge. The sell out London show (at the Lyceum Ballroom) took place just one day after the Brixton riots. Talk about an electric atmosphere!
By October that year The Exploited were in the singles charts with the violently evocative ‘Dead Cities’, leading to arguably the most ferocious performance ever seen on Top Of The Pops (yeah, you read that right! And yes, there were n

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