“Once seen, a live performance by … The Ex is never forgotten. Imagine two men in short pants and army boots, guitars slung impossibly low, careering round the stage like demented dodgem cars, backed by a veritable arsenal of precision-honed polyrhythms” – The Wire
The Ex don’t compromise and so it’s no surprise that they have put together one of the most powerful horn sections imaginable for this highly anticipated bespoke UK tour. Since 1979 this inspired, intrepid and seminal band have consistently pushed the envelope, plotting a restless course from their anarchist punk origins to embrace everything from fractured noise to Ethiopian groove. Their thrillingly raw and rhythmic rock sound is born from their ideals, musical friendships/networks and work ethic. Alive to the moment, they are sometimes described as ‘experimental trance-dance avant-afro-punk improv music’ – and no one knows what descriptions this musical metamorphosis will conjure up.
For 9 dates in Feb 2010 The Ex will unleash a brand new, wild and combustible show in collaboration with four of the world’s most powerful and performative horn players for some unbelievable in-the-red swing time. Brass Unbound comprise Swedish force of nature Mats Gustafsson (saxophone) from The Thing, Chicago jazz heavyweight Ken Vandermark (saxophone), Italian wild card Roy Paci (trumpet) and boundary busting classical/futurist Wolter Wierbos (trombone). This explosive combination of dynamics, groove, ecstatic noise, free jazz, super tense rock and no bullshit attitude makes it all the more dexterous and dangerous. As players, improvisers and entertainers this expansive group are nothing short of phenomenal.
The Ex have been involved in a steady stream of boundary-breaking collaborations, releases, tours and films that have established them as a unique but under-acknowledged force in rock music, who are always on the move, but always sound like The Ex. 30 years into their career this hugely adventurous band are finally getting their dues, aligning them with contemporaries like Sonic Youth and Fugazi or current bands such as Battles, Zu and Action Beat.