John Bokma MexIT
freelance Perl programmer

Punk rock never dies

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 | 3 comments

Today I had a trip down memory lane with Andreja and Esme. First I chatted on MSN Messenger with Andreja about the Specials. She likes Ska music, so I recommended to give them a try. Recently Esme and I saw Natural Born Killers, which has Ghost Town, a song by the Specials, in it, so somehow I got them in my head. I also talked about Doe Maar, a Dutch band which made what they called Skunk, a mix of Ska and Punk, many years ago.

I had dinner with Esme, and talked with her about Dutch Punk: Boegies and The Ex, and especially one song I like a lot by the Ex: State of Shock. Quite some time ago I bought the CD "Villa 65 : Volume 1 Nederlandse Bands" (Dutch bands) which has this song, and many other very good ones, on it. She made a guess on how the Boegies looked like: big Mohawk and punk clothing. I told her that her description fitted more the lead singer of The Exploited, and looked up some pictures.

I found a page by Fender on the Golden Age of Punk with a picture of the Exploited. During this golden age I was a kid not really interested in music, yet. Most of the bands from this Golden Age I discovered like 8 years later or even more: The Stranglers, The Clash, Siouxie and the Banshees, etc. I even recalled recording computer programs over a live concert by the Stranglers back in the mid-80's (Feline tour?). I had a ZX Spectrum back in those days, and this computer could use audio cassettes for storage. When I bought The Raven by the Stranglers a few years later I recognized some songs songs. After a lot of thinking, I browsed through my cassettes, and found pieces of the concert between the computer generated noise, aargh!

Anyway, I used Google to find songs by The Ex, and found a page with the track list of "Scrabbling at the Lock" by The Ex and Tom Cora which had a link to an mp3: "Hidegen f˙jnak a szelek". I downloaded the song and was amazed. I clearly recognised the sound of The Ex, but the cello added an extra dimension. I highly recommend to give this song a try.

I did some URL hacking, meaning I removed "hidegen.mp3" from the URL and ended up in the "audio" folder. More songs! So I used wget to download those songs:

wget -A mp3 -r -l=3 http://freeteam.nl/ex/audio/

The songs came in one by one and I started to listen. Suddenly I recognized a song: State of Shock. But it was a different version, now with funny Dutch lyrics, and Spanish trumpets (amongst others): Kokend Asfalt. Another song I highly recommend to give a try.

I looked for a bit more info on the Ex, and I loved this description: "hard-edged Dutch anarcho-punk collective".

Oh, and I finished reading Araminta Station, part one of the Cadwal Chronicles, an excellent story written by Jack Vance. It plays in the same universe (Gaean Reach) as the Demon Princes but the story has in my opinion a slower pace. Recommended.

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