Scott Davis had always been a fan of pirate radio, and in the summer of 1989 after listening to Freedom Radio decided to have a go at setting up his own station Exile FM. Scott brought his first transmitter which was just 4 watts off a small low powered local pirate station called KFM after knocking on the door and introducing himself.
Exile’s first tests were in November 1989 on 105.7FM, these came from Scott’s own bedroom with the aerial hanging out of his window. Then on Friday 29th December 1989 Exile moved into its first proper studio, a garage in Kingswinford and began full broadcasts every weekend from Friday night at 6pm until late Sunday night, with a music format very similar to Freedom Radio’s mix of pop, dance, rock and oldies. At first the phone lines were quiet, but soon began to get busy even on just 4 watts, and to help things along Exile moved frequency in mid January 1990 to the middle of the dial on 100.5FM.
During Exile’s first month on air it attracted interest from many people involved in the West Midlands pirate radio scene and the DJ line up began to grow quite quickly with presenters who had previously worked on pirate stations such as Freedom and Centre Radio. The most significant being interest from Craig Benson manager of Freedom Radio, who came down to Exile in late January 1990 and did a show himself. Craig then offered Scott a weekly show on his own station Freedom.
These new connections in the pirate radio world opened up the door for Exile to expand, and Scott being very ambitious soon increased Exile’s power to 25 watts in early February 1990. Exile continued to grow building up a huge following over the next month, however at the end of March 1990 Scott came to an agreement with some friends who were setting up a new pirate station, to close Exile and join up and become part of their management team. This proved to be a mistake and with the new station having various problems getting off the ground it wasn’t long before Exile made its return in late May 1990. Exile continued to grow during the summer of 1990 slowly changing its music format to more of a dance station, increasing power to 100 watts and going stereo.
Exile’s first studio raid came in October 1990, with the station returning to the air from Brierley Hill flats 2 weeks later running 7 days a week. However it was decided that the output and atmosphere from the new studio were not right as it was rushed back on air too quickly, so after 2 weeks back on air the station was closed down again until a better studio could be sorted out. Exile’s next broadcast came over Christmas and New Year 1990 with the station returning to its original studio location in Kingswinford broadcasting all week, only this time using a link system with the main transmitter being housed in Brierley Hill flats. With the odd test broadcast during the early weeks of 1991 Exile’s next full return was at the end of February 1991, this time from an office in Brierley Hill with the main transmitter located for the first time at Eve Hill flats in Dudley. This was to be Exile’s permanent new home for its transmitters as the signal was easily the best from any West Midlands pirate from this location.
From this new transmitter site and studio Exile grew even bigger than it had in 1990 with its music style turning to a harder dance and rave style. The stations run came to an end on Thursday 13th June 1991 with the stations second studio raid. Exile briefly returned for a couple of weeks in august that year, until returning in the December. Unfortunately due to local charity radio stations being on air for that Christmas, the return was brief and Exile’s third studio raid came after just 2 weeks back on the air.
1992 wasn’t a good year for Exile with only 4 weekends on air around March/April, due to problems finding a decent studio and the management having other things going on in their lives at the time. Then with Scott Davis joining up with the management of another Dudley station Quest 100 FM later that year, it seemed as though Exile would never return again.
However with the end of the short lived station Quest 100, Scott got together with some of the key members of the old Exile team and decided to bring back the station. This was to be Exile’s greatest run, after returning from the excellent Eve Hill transmitter site on June 5th 1993, Exile broadcast every weekend until the start of November 1994 missing only a few complete weekends during these 18 months. During this time Exile became more popular than ever with arguably the best ever signal from a West Midlands pirate station, establishing itself as the all time great West Midlands dance music pirate.
Unfortunately with the loss of regular transmitters from thieves and the authorities closing in, the station closed down for good in early November 1994.
To save any item from the list then right click and ‘Save Target As…’