Sunday, 28th May 2006: The Exploited @ Paul’s Place
edited from an SMS received from (or maybe forwarded by) Rafil at 2.19AM Sunday:
“The Exploited is still on tomorrow 28th May, Paul’s Place. Time 1PM”
I went to Paul’s Place too late. Dragged my heels and arrived by a cab at about 7.30PM. There were some colourful mohawked, leather-jacketed punks and dressed up skinheads loitering around the area. The main stair door at the ground floor were guarded by two men, with the grill locked and them peering out at me.
I called Fadhil, who were already up there inside the venue. He said The Exploited is starting to play, I heard a familiar strain of drum beat, it could be Dogs of War, the band’s third single released in 1981. I opened up my wallet and decided to go to the mamak instead and have my much delayed lunch and dinner.
And so there I sat and munched through nasi with telur rebus and a dollop of ayam kari. Later some friends joined me and we stayed there and chat the time away. That was how I spent my time at “the first Malaysian Exploited show”, that is until me and Fendi left the place at about 9.30pm.
Through out my lepak time, I saw several commotion outside of the venue, kids shouting, kids being aggro, there was some kind of a fight, or two, or three, maybe. An old friend brought one skinny kid to the mamak place to clean up the blood on his face and gave him an Exploited tour t-shirt to wear so he would not be going around all bloodied. Later I heard some guy accidentally stabbed his friend in the stomach.
Oh, well. I guess it’s typical for such a gig. I have never been to many skinhead and “chaos” punk shows, but that’s the impression I got. It’s a scene where people would beat each other up for fun.
I’ve never seen anything like that in the regular DIY-punk/HC or indie-rock shows which I love to attend. And I do hope it stays that way. All these senseless macho aggro-core is just so bloody boring. It’s such a clich?©. It’s all been done before way back in the dark ages by our Cro-Magnon forefathers. I guess Devo was right all along, it’s de-evolution baby!
I can’t help thinking this sort of pent-up aggression could have been utilised better at the oil-hike protest at KLCC earlier today. Instead of punching your own friends, them “punks” could have lobbed a few bricks at the riot police and register their pain at the world gone loopy. Then there would be a semblance of sense and purpose to the whole angry youth pose.
Other than that hare-brained tragi-comedy, I heard the show went well. The police came to check upon it twice, both times they were driven away convinced that it was a just a private party with only invited guests allowed in. All this came complete with a list of the names of people invited. Very good indeed.
Paul told me that there were about 200 kids up there in the venue. “Just the usual number of kids like before”, he said. The man seems to be rather elated that his venue, victimised by a publicity-hungry police-chief, is now serving its intended duty again. I’m also happy at this fact. Paul’s Place is a place for us to make music, not an empty space primed for bat droppings.
Another friend told me that The Exploited played all the old hits, right from Alternative to Let’s Start A War to Troops of Tomorrow (a cover of an Urban Dogs song, written by Knox of The Vibrators).
When I was young I grew up with all these songs, and I had a pin-up of Wattie taken from the Punk Lives magazine tacked up on my wall, but strangely enough I didn’t feel sad that I did see The Exploited play today. In fact, I felt quite a huge relief, just to know that my idea of punk rock is much, much bigger than a uniform of mohawks, boots and bloodied faces.
postscript: I guess The Exploited must be pretty alarmed at the behaviour of its fans. Some friends who were there told me there was a guy going around with a hammer! Oh, dear.
Anyway, here are two videos posted up by somebody who was there: