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The Exploited Keeps Punk Alive At The Fleece, Bristol

"Punk's Not Dead!" bellows the title and artwork of The Exploited's debut album, released back in 1981. Thirty seven years later, the quartet are still proudly making the proclamation with all the venom they can muster. Led by iconic frontman Wattie Buchan and his brother Wullie on drums, the band became one of the most popular names in the second wave of British punk, which is often named "UK82" after a song of theirs. From "Death Before Dishonour" onwards, their sound took on a more metallic tone, leading some to lump The Exploited in with the crossover thrash acts like D.R.I. and Stormtroopers Of Death. Though it's been fifteen years since they're last album, "Fuck The System," the band are by no means near the end and certainly haven't mellowed with age, as the crowd in Bristol were about to find out.

Opening the show was local punk band, Criminal Mind. As one might expect, they have a strong following in their home city, which helps when performing to a crowd with enough factions that are sneering at each other, much less anyone who dare share the stage with The Exploited. They're a fine band, offering nothing but old school punk and not much more, which will please fans of the genre, but perhaps not thrill those who enjoy punk rock but are far from addicted to it.

It's a testament to the quality of their catalogue that the first seven songs unleashed by The Exploited came from seven different albums, beginning with "Let's Start A War" from the album of the same name, then "Fight Back" from 1996's excellent, "Beat The Bastards." From bantering with the crowd to banging the microphone on his head to make sure it worked, Wattie Buchan is a sight to behold, looking healthier than he has in a long time and still holding a burning hatred for the establishment.

Launching into more classics and long time favourites such as "Dead Cities," "The Massacre," "Porno Slut" and "Cop Cars," as well as some of the many stand out songs from "Fuck The System" such as the title track, "Holiday In The Sun," "Chaos Is My Life" and "Never Sell Out," the intensity of the band never stopped, going so far as to dedicate "Fuck the U.S.A." to both Donald Trump and Jello Biafra, before beginning an encore featuring the classic sing along, "Sex And Violence," "Punk's Not Dead" and "Disorder." The Exploited are one of punk's true legends and those who are lucky enough to witness them, even to this day, can't argue with this for a second.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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2 Comments on "The Exploited Keeps Punk Alive In The South West"

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1. PCG writes:

It was a bloody great gig hope they return soon.

# Mar 17, 2018 @ 9:00 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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2. rulin kmadd writes:

highly underrated band them and gbh are the kings of uk punk

# Mar 29, 2018 @ 11:54 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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