The Exploited – The Exploited Records Company 1980

Exploited Barmy Army

I Believe In Anarchy / What You Gonna Do

Punk song smiths from Edinburgh releasing their second single in less than a year to the eager public. A slightly different line up to the first single ‘Army Life’ and it’s rather lame B-Side. This record employed the talents of Big John and Gary on the guitars. This line up became better known after these singles were re-released on Secret Records, as well as ‘Dogs Of War’ and the LP ‘Punks Not Dead’. A headlining tour ‘Apocalypse Now’ with Discharge, Chron Gen, Anti Pasti and some band from Tunbridge Wells helped spread the band’s profile. The fourth single ‘Dead Cities’ sold sufficiently enough to be featured on Top Of The Pops. When this line up split a few months after the TOTP appearance, The Exploited continued as Wattie and backing band, and more than likely still perform to this day. I have no idea what was released after 1981 and I have no interest in finding out either…Just put it up to read the comments from my old buddy and Edinburgh punk expert, Chris Low really! Got any stories about Edinburgh in 1980-81 Chris?

  1. Chris
    February 20, 2008 at 12:45 am

    They are still MASSIVE abroad! like, STADIUM BIG!

    Funnily enough, i once drummed for a band with, Exploited bassist, Gary McCormack and the singer in ‘Hey Elastica’ (if anyone remembers them!?)
    can’t even remember the band’s name and it never got beyond a rehearsal stage but the songs sounded like a cross between Rick james and ACR.

    Gary is now a rather successful actor. Had a lead role in ‘the Acid House’ and last saw him in the atrocious ‘gangs of New York’.

    can’t be bothered myself, but if you do a youtube search for ‘exploited barmy army’ you might come across the clip of them doing it (somewhere in the US i think) where wattie keeps getting the letters of E.X.P.L.O.I.T.E.D. mixed up. Hysterical.

    Last time I saw Big John i think he was guitar roadie for The Boredoms.

  2. alistairliv
    February 20, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Then there was the time Wattie visited the Centro Iberico. As described by Andy Martian, it went like this:

    “..the day Wattie Buchan visited The Centro Iberico. Let me make this clear: Wattie at no time acted in a provocative or antisocial manner, he paid to come in, he sat down at a table and watched the bands. He was accompanied by Annie Anxiety, a friend of Crass, who brought him along to introduce him to the Crass Clone Society…

    Within twenty minutes of his arrival, Wattie was cornered in the toilets, surrounded by five people and about six observers, harangued and harassed, virtually interrogated about his records, lyrics, ideas and beliefs then assaulted by two women with a tin bath full of dirty water, seaweed and rubbish. He was on his own and unarmed. I jumped to his assistance and supported him … because it seemed absurd to me that he should have to endure a scene from The Sweeney (punk style) followed by an obscure aquatic initiation when all he had done was pay his £1 to see a few punk bands perform..”

    From Andy’s piece on John Eden’s Uncarved website.

    I always wondered where the sea weed came from.

  3. Nic
    February 20, 2008 at 11:12 am

    I used to hate the Exploited when I was a nipper because they stood for all of that macho, violent thuggish end of Punk…
    whereas I was a sap… 🙂
    I only saw them twice, both times on the ‘Apocalypse Now’ tour in 1981 and both times because I was waiting for Discharge to come on…

    Rat Napalm and I had a habit of shouting Exploited song introductions when we were smashed – “Any of you’s out there like Crass? Crass are a bunch of bloody wankers! Let’s see you fuckin’ pogo!”
    (the other faviourites were song introductions from the live LP of the first gig by The Germs, the intros from “Sid Sings”, and live Venom introductions)…

    Live video of ‘Exploited Barmy Army’ from 1983 that features some great insults at the start (that’s the way to do it!)…

    ‘Fuck the USA’ with classic Wattie intro (from the ‘UKDK’ video):

    The lame B-Side, Penguin?!? 😉
    I remember back in 1987, I was living in an inner-city ghetto in Birmingham called Balsall Heath where a bunch of houses full of heads were located on a few connecting roads, so – as you’d expect – everyone was always round at each others houses…
    I remember quite a few afternoons in Liverpool Gibby’s room with us absolutely smashed, playing records like ‘Crashed Out’ (in an ‘ironic’ manner) while singing along through a microphone connected to a chain of effects pedals and tweaking a broken Roland 303 (which eventually ended up being superglued to a wall and set on fire)…

    Guitar roadie for Boredoms?

    I once caught the same plane as Elastica to a festival which their band and mine were playing in Norway…when we landed, we needed to get some ‘medication’ so we were taken to a squat where none other than Taf (bass player of Disorder) delivered the goods…The 2 people from Elastic who came with us to score were looking to cop something a little harder… 😉

  4. Chris
    February 20, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    I always wondered where the BATH came from 😉

  5. Harry The
    Harry The
    February 20, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    I always thought they were shite, I still do

  6. Nic
    February 20, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Listen, pal – don’t fuck with the BARMY ARMY!!!!

  7. sean
    February 20, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    me and spike got gary and John to play “punk is dead” on guitar and bass when they stayed at our house before the crass/exploited 100club show.Wattie stayed in a hotel with annie anx,never knew why till now…..he didnt fancy a repeat of the bathtub/seaweed welcome in store for him in london.
    Being woken up by a 20 stone behemoth clad in kings rd tartan bondage gear gabbling a heathen lingo is another terrifying story in itself… all came out well when Big John (the behemoth) spotted a hawkwind record in my room and confessed that what he really wanted to do was play in a psycheldelic rock band and didnt leave the exploited cos he didnt want to upset Wattie.Turns out John was something of a virtuoso guitarist and did go on to form his own hawkwind style outfit.Bless…..

  8. Tarquin
    February 20, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    The way i heard it….it wasn’t just dirty water and seaweed in that bucket… Donna wasn’t feeling very well that day!! xx

  9. Wildebeest
    February 21, 2008 at 4:13 am

    Hi Tarquin,

    Great to hear from you, though I’m not going to say thanks for the visual on that post.

  10. Stewart
    June 22, 2008 at 8:38 am

    They always struck me as the pantomime end of the punk cow, I’m afraid…

  11. Jah Pork Pie
    Jah Pork Pie
    June 23, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    … and the arse end of the pantomime cow, at that! I thought their music was mindless and tribe-obsessed. Real bargain-bin stuff.

    I remember reading an interview with Wattie in one of the music rags (probably Sounds) in about ’81. The only thing that really sticks in my mind about it was the strangely homoerotic reply to the question “What do you hate most in the world?”

    He replied “Boys with hairy nipples”.


  12. Ian
    July 21, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    I moved to Edinburgh in the late 80’s. Gary McCormack drank in a few pubs that I did and he had the knack of starting fights in most of them. This was before the acting bug caught him, probably. Big John I only remember from Listen in Glasgow where he worked for a bit and my ex partner used to baby-sit for Wattie, or something, maybe for the kid who was on one of their sleeves? Only saw The Exploited once, along with the Anti Nowhere League, Vice Squad and a few others at the Glasgow Apollo (The Gathering of The Clans it was billed as..) in 1982. It was completely shite. Thats about as interesting as it gets with me. Cheers.

  13. Jay Vee
    Jay Vee
    September 24, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Give Wattie credit, he’s still got his red mohican hairstyle, still playing live gigs more often abroad in dodgier places than the Centro Iberico, and as I was always more of a loyal ‘Crass clone’ (fan) myself in early 1980’s, didn’t find Exploited pantomime at all, just colourful and a bit daft with their lyrics (Fuck a Mod), but at least they never strung the kids back then into any false promises or indoctrinated the masses to serve Penny Rimbaud’s new regime!
    I saw The Exploited recently at Durham Punk Festival (13/09/2008) and the energy of the current bassist – Irish Rob and Wattie’s dedication to the fans (Wattie demanding the crowd surfers be allowed back in to the gig after bouncers strictly throw them out after 3 crowd surfs) is well worth going to see nowadays at a gig anyway and the energy of the band at their ripe old age, deserves respect, they got mine anyway.

  14. Tony Puppy
    Tony Puppy
    September 26, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    I remember speaking with Wattie at Centro Iberico that evening. He was brought there by none other than Spanish Lisa (star of the Stranglers video Strange Little Girl).

    I did not see any seawreed or tin bath incident.

  15. Sean
    June 18, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    I was (still am I suppose) a big fan of the Exploited, I was that into them that I had the skull tattooed on my back! Dead Cities was the second record I ever brought!
    Ive met Wattie several times and hes an allright bloke. Apparently hes done quite well for himself from the band and good luck to him, 30 years on, hes still at it!

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