And while a critic once suggested they were stating the obvious (politicians are liars and war is bad), someone is still voting for the fuckers and we seem to be on the brink of World War Three.Someone should be shouting about it for Christ’s sake! Who else would have the nerve to drown a Tory politician in their video (for the title track of their ’96 masterpiece ‘Beat The Bastards’) or repeatedly refer to Maggie Thatcher as a "fucking cunt! So we face the start of another New Year and nothing has changed.If you’re going to be unemployed, then be unemployable!
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. 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!
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…. 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. It’s your lifeblood, the only thing that makes sense and the only thing to look forward to in a world with ‘no future’. The next single, the next gig, the volume coursing through your veins to remind you that you’re alive. 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.
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. Unless, of course, you’re old enough to drink in the same pub as your dad. 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.
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. 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.
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. But maybe we should put that into context since it means so many different things.
The other option, the only other option, is to give to punk rock what it has given to you…everything!
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