The Ex – Festival Birmingham

This is such a great idea. Almost like a festival in a venue. 2 rooms, bands on mainly alternate times and 2 diverse styles on show.
theex

The ex room is one for expire mental musicians. Those not quite ready to conform to verse chorus style whilst the other is a full on musical onslaught, not a bit of avant garde in sight

Indulge me while I name these rooms tweedledum and never twee

Tweedledum kicks off with
Rattle
rattle_web

This is a Double drum and vocal attack. Not like d+v from crass records days but same concept. 2 women drumming up a storm and bringing you in. In the boys world if rock and roll it is great to see a band like this. Refreshingly good.

Health and efficiency are more than a duo. The stage was crammed with people. 4/6 this with beards. What’s with the facial hair these days?
I dunno if the calypso/African music was meant before they came on but it gave a false indication if what to expect. Shoe gazing with a banjo and then the fleet foxes kick in. Kind of feels indulgent at times This night gets more and more strange and I was glad to leave when they started singing about days of the week

I was trying to remember earlier how many times I’ve seen the ex live. Must be nearly double figures at this stage and I’ve never once wanted them to have a shorter set. Since the first time i crossed paths with them live in 1991 when they toured with dog faced Hermans I have watched and followed with huge interest. If I’m ever asked to compile one if those impossible lists of best bands, best gigs well the ex are my starting point. i set a very high benchmark and if you can match the ex then your into my handful of choices. Very few have reached that benchmark.

It’s great been in a town where noone knows you. You can people watch and wonder what everyone story is. Why are they here? When did they come across the ex and how. The hare and hounds was packed, the band got a great reception, no less than they deserve. How they keep it going is beyond me. How much respect can they be shown? It can’t be too much whatever it is. Its great that it is still so exciting waiting for the ex to hit the stage. I was like this in cork, in Amsterdam, in London, in Dublin. That feeling of being in the presence of something special maybe it’s the way the Barcelona players or fans feel when messi is on form. And the ex were on form. The spectre of gw Sok no longer singing has finally been removed (after 5 years) as jep moves comfortably around stage. This is his band now, as much as Kat or andy or the original member left, terri. The chemistry on stage is unreal. I’ve only seen one band match this, fugazi. It’s like they know what each other is thinking. They immerse themselves into the spud and the packed out hate and hounds lap it up

Never twee blasts off with
Bayonnebleeder
This is a Metal onslaught with short hair. Heavy heavy heavy

Sump
Are a two piece making amount noise for an orchestra but sounding nothing like one of course. Man could they roar. It was a wall of noise interspersed with a riff here and there verge sound engineer looked on aghast, hopeless in trying to attain a level. My head hurt, nearly exploded. I never though two people could make such a racket.

Mob Rules
Mob rules is a great name for a band. Like nearly everyone on the they were new to me but as the third band on the heavy stage I was expecting a racket. They didn’t surprise. Only thing is I just don’t get the gruff vocals. it must tear the singers throat apart. I like my bands to mean something and for me to have some idea what they are banging on about, especially with the singer looking so angry I’ve no clue what mob rules lyrics were but they did get me moving musically. Oh and while I’m at it. I paid in to your gig the least you can so is say hello onstage and introduce yourself as a band. If you think I should clap you should say thanks. Just a little pet peeve after going to gigs for thirty years

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