FEATURE THE EXPLOITED
can’t remember where I was when
Kennedy was shot, but I can
remember where I was when The
Exploited played on Top Of The
Pops. ‘Dead Cities’ was the song;
pink hair and tartan bondage trews, November 1981 , the last, perhaps the only real punk record to get into the Top 40. Like Bowie singing ‘Starman’ or the Pistols miming ‘Pretty Vacant’, it was a seminal moment in the history of televised popular music. Fronting the ‘second wave’ of punk rock — the urbanised, aggressive, Mohican brand — the Edinburgh foursome epitomised the movement’s renegade phil050phy. They were loud, brash and hard. They were scruffy in a mannered, regimented sort of
Long-term'purveyors of purest hardcore punk, THE EXPLOITED are one of Scotland’s most successful musical exports. But not a lot of people know that, and it’s just a noise anyway. Or is it?
Paul Hullah finds out.
way, they went a hundred miles an hour and, boy, were they angry.
A decade and eight albums on (including the quarter-of-a-million selling meisterwerk, Punk’s Not Dead) The Exploited are as loud and angry as ever. And successful. They receive 300 fan club letters per month, spent 1991 touring Japan, Mexico and Europe, culminating in a three-month sell-out US
run and a New York gig before 2,500 people.
Overseas, they’re hailed as the one remaining true Brit-punk act (GBH might like to argue), or, alternatively, a tougher end of the hardcore, speed-thrash fascination sweeping America. Over here , they’re a curio. That they‘re banned from most British venues didn’t help their 803 UK
proﬁle; they haven’t played Scotland for three years and haven’t graced UK television screens since that memorable night in 1981. But, in their thirteenth year as a punk icon, The Exploited are still here — Link records have just re-released the whole
of the group’s back catalogue and, Stateside,
they’ve just signed a major new recording deal.
Introducing himself via a firm handshake , Exploited mainstay — and sole surviving founder member — Wattie (Walter) Buchan is a stocky, musclebound individual; a swarthy jaw smiles out beneath his trademark crimson Mohican (today in non-erect mode) while Exploited sweatshirt, ripped denims and knee-length Doc Martens complete the picture. In conversation, he is lucid with self-belief to spare, refusing to be sidetracked by a new question until he has dealt with the previous enquiry in a full, reasoned manner. Surprisingly, he swears less than the average 32-year-old.
10 The List 31 January— 13 February 1992
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