Tuesday, 7 May 2013


   Before we opened the Cavern - around 1988/89 - a group of us formed a collective called Hometown Atrocities, with the loose aim of bringing a load of punk and hardcore bands to Exeter.

   I was in a band at the time with Martin Edmunds called Mad At The Sun, and we put on a bunch of shows including, Fugazi, Verbal Assault, Sink, Victim's Family, Cowboy Killers and Senseless Things. The first hometown Atrocities show was at The Art College, with skate ramps put up in the bar (it was before the days of health & safety!)

   There were no real venues so we set up in various pubs around town, usually for only one show, sometimes only half a show if the pub landlord managed to pull the plug on it, like they did at The Printers Pie (now called The Monkey Suit) when the irate landlady walked in halfway through a Cowboy Killers set. One show that did go ahead there featured a band called Headless Chickens who had Thom Yorke from Radiohead on guitar. (Thom was at the art college and was also part of the Hometown Atrocities collective). You can see a photo of that show below - the other guys in the pic are John Matthias and Shack who now DJs under the name Elite Force.

We went on to put out a couple of EPs with Exeter bands including The Hometown Atrocities EP which now fetches a high price amongst collectors due to the fact it is the first recording with Thom Yorke on it.

Recently, IAN GLASPER featured Mad At The Sun, Wordbug and Annalise in his quadrilogy of books about the Eighties/Nineties Uk Punk Scene - Burning Britain, The Day The Country Died, Trapped In A Scene and Armed With Anger. Those books contain everything you need to know about the underground scene from 1980-1999.


  1. To be honest Dave I think the Thom Yorke thing is over blown. Yes he's gone on to be very famous but Headless Chickens were in no way punk and were mainly a covers band really. They didn't do much HA-wise but were on the ep. He was at the University, not the Art College by the way. There were some excellent gigs which you deserve full credit for organising but at times I feel that the Exeter scene of the time is in retrospect painted as being yours and Eddie's band of the time and Headless Chickens and nothing else. Beaver Patrol were popular as were Headtime and Mudlark were excellent for example. Useful Idiot got themselves a deal and were around at the time. There was a lot going on then.

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