Formed in July 1977 as EXIT, their first gig, in November 1978, ended in a riot with the band attacked by the audience and their equipment smahed up. the riot made news headlines in the north of England and resulted in a trial at Lincoln Crown court. The presiding judge (who must have been at the gig) said the band had given "a disgusting performance" and that "it was a disgusting incident which is all too prevalent". the publicity resulted in a BBC Radio Humberside recording session in March 1979.

They played 10 gigs, mainly in pubs & village halls around South Humberside and Lincolnshire but all very well attented due the high profile media publicity sparked off by the riot and the BBC session.

Their biggest gig was a major event. In February 1979, as EXIT, they supported The Damned at Cleethorpes Winter Garden before an audience of 500. The singer/guitarist Mick Taylor had his red beret "borrowed" by Captain Sensible just before The Damned took the stage and thus, the Captain's famous 'trademark' image was born.

The late summer of 1979 was the height of the Mod Ravival and the band - about to release their debut single - changed their image to reflect the mood of the moment. Suited and booted and re-named THE WHAT, their "Est Coast Kids" EP, was released in September 1979.

At their final gig, in October 1979, a ludicrous scenario unfolded - a lesson in how not to do things. Still appearing onstage billed as EXIT they were, at the same time, promoting their "East Coast Kids" EP under the name-change The What. Armed with uch a career-killing strategy, it comes as no surprise therefore, that shortly afterwards, EXIT/THE WHAT collapsed in disarray!

The original trio re-formed in December 1981, soon afterwards becoming a 4-piece with a 'poppier' sound, including organ and second guitar. they released a single, "Planetoid Passion" in 1983 on the Red Beret label. In 1984 EXIT released another single "The Bite Of Winter"(Red Beret).
Dave Alucard, March 2005

 

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