THE EXPLOITED / THE SCAM / PLAN OF ATTACK / THE F1-ELEVENS
10th December 2015
The Zoo, Brisbane, Australia (by Jamie Cook)
Punk rock fans around Australia have a lot to look forward to over the coming months, with the likes of Stiff Little Fingers, G.B.H., Men With No Shame (featuring Glen Matlock, Slim Jim Phantom, & Earl Slick), and the Buzzcocks, who are all due to hit our shores for headline shows in the near future. Even the previous night the River City played host to the legendary Misfits, while this evening Brisbane fans are in the company of one of the biggest punk bands in the history of the genre, Edinburgh’s finest export, The Exploited, who have stopped by after an eight-year absence to showcase their brand of anarchy in downtown Fortitude Valley.
Apologies for missing the first band, the F1-Elevens, however I did get there just in time for local Oi! boys, Plan of Attack. If you’re a fan of bands such as Sham 69, Cockney Rejects, or early Dropkick Murphys, this may just be the band for you. The growing crowd which was made up of Punks, Skins, and the odd Metal fan gave their undivided attention for the full duration of their thirty-minute time slot as the lads delivered a bunch of catchy tunes which were all worthy of a rousing drunken sing-a-long.
Next up, a band who describe themselves as ‘Thrash Street Punk’, Gold Coast three piece The Scam took to the stage with Mohawks styled high and proceeded to belt out their fast, furious, all guns-a-blazing, sloppy as shit hardcore punk. I didn’t mind these guys for what they had to offer, but I was left kind of baffled as to how they scored the direct support over Plan of Attack who were way more engaging onstage and with the crowd.
As the clock hit 10.30pm, the Scottish madmen commenced the evenings craziness with Let’s Start a War, followed by Fightback, and Dogs of War. Having suffered a heart attack onstage in Portugal at the beginning of 2014, and carrying a few extra kilos since his last trip down under, front man Wattie Buchan whose Scottish accent was almost impossible to understand during his between song banter showed no signs of slowing down. In fact, the renowned anarchist couldn’t even hide a few cheeky grins throughout the set to show he was having a good time during their first stop of the Aussie tour. This current member line-up of The Exploited is by far the sturdiest and tightest over the bands entire career. Matt McGuire’s axe work adds a more metal edge to the songs, while Irish Rob directed all of his energy into punishing the bass and swinging around his massive mop of dreads.
The twenty plus song set list weighed heavily on the Fuck the System, Punk’s Not Dead, and Troops of Tomorrow albums, but not forgetting to throw in some other belters such as Beat the Bastards, and Porno Slut. Sex and Violence gave the opportunity for one lucky punter to test out his pipes while Wattie took a short break before returning for Maggie and the punk classic Punk’s Not Dead. As this hot and muggy night drew to a close, Was It Me wrapped up an absolutely superb Thursday evening out on the town. These punks might be older, but they are far from dead. Great stuff!