The Ex & Housewives @ Oslo, Hackney

The Ex


It wasn't immediately obvious to The Ex but, apparently, they had played a very different Oslo back in the '80s - and to a very different crowd, as people in the audience were happier sniffing glue back then, according to the band's drummer joking on the mic, rather than dancing, like today. The space on 1 Amhurst Road in Hackney is in 2015 a different story altogether, but The Ex remain very much the same band in the best of ways: Alert, both musically and politically, authentic, agile. Covering the range from blazing punk rock to traveling jazz (though the newest version of the band has dismissed the sax), the Dutch foursome has been challenging norms continuously since the tail-end of the '70s. Without a doubt, and once again, they're refreshing to listen to, and a joy to watch.

All the better if they have a band like Housewives opening for them, South London experimentalists bringing '80s no wave to today's hipster Hackney. Between New York's schizophrenic DNA and San Francisco's more recent punk rockers Erase Errata, the band have killer guitars stopping and starting on a whim, while their double-drum stunts take noise on a new level, floating between synchronicity and disarray.
Don't fight it - just take a dive in.

                                                                                      Housewives - video snippet

Gnod & Hey Colossus @ Corsica Studios

Hey Colossus
Brutal. Black. Gold 


Sonic expectations were overturned at the joint gig of underground masters of visceral noise Gnod & Hey Colossus at Elephant & Castle's Corsica Studios.

Hey Colossus came first to attack with varied, layered noisescapes that often faded into slow-building riffs, heavy in psychedelic irony - the wandering projections at the back only enhanced this heady fusion. Their new album Black & Gold is a mighty piece of work on more than one level - smart, sexy, mature without sacrificing an inch of their menacing credentials.

Having a tough act to follow, Gnod pretty much remained on a flat heavy rock plane throughout their set. Despite their interesting dynamics, the uniform whole came to stark contrast with Hey Colossus's unpredictable rides. Not bad by any means, just rather unfortunate....

Spot-on: Milhoes de Festa 2015 put together a tell-all video set  to the title track from Black & Gold