At the start of February I went to see the Ex play five gigs around England. It was hard to believe that it had been six years since The Ex had toured this land. The first time I saw them was at the Manchester gig on their 2003 tour and I was so enamoured of their energetic performance that I decided I had to see as many gigs as possible on their winter tour. After all, I might be waiting another six years for more! For this tour they hooked up with a four piece brass section called Brass Unbound, comprising saxophonists Mats Gustafsson and Ken Vandermark alongside trumpeter Roy Paci and trombonist Wolter Wierbos, who were both part of Ex Orkest, an expanded orchestral project documented on the fantastic 2001 live album "Een Rondje Holland." This alone meant that it promised to be even better than the previous tour, but they'd also brought along the brilliant Bristol based Zun Zun Egui as support. Travelling to Birmingham, Brighton, London, Manchester and finally Liverpool where I interviewed the Ex before the gig, something that became apparent was that they attract a great friendly crowd to their gigs. More people were dancing at Manchester's Deaf Institute than any other gig I'd been to there, and in Liverpool it seemed the whole room was moving to the music. Their drummer Kat was so enthused by that crowd's reaction she thanked us all for dancing so much. Even the freezing temperature of the unheated venue and the drunken man loudly banging a beer bottle out of time couldn't spoil the atmosphere. It was nice to run into a fair few folk who I hadn't seen for a while as I travelled the land.
The interview will appear on the next update of Perfect Sound Forever