Friday 12 December 2014, 8pm
Second show of a two-day residency from incomparible band, The Ex, who after 35 years, more than 25 albums and around 1800 performances still work independently, without record companies, managers or roadies.
- Richard Dawson
- The Ex & Afework Negussie
• TERRIE HESSELS - guitar
• ARNOLD DE BOER - vocals, guitar
• ANDY MOOR - guitar
• KATHERINA BORNEFELD - drums, vocals
The adventurous, innovative Dutch band The Ex exists 40 years this year and is still going strong. New projects, new songs and new adventures.
The Ex have defied categorisation ever since they started playing in 1979. Born out of the punk explosion, when anything and everything was possible, the band have still managed to retain both curiosity and passion for their music. Using guitars, bass, drums and voice as their starting point, The Ex have continued to musically explore undiscovered areas right up to the present day.
Already the early 1980s saw collaborations with jazz musicians and an Iraqi-Kurdish band. In the 90s the group found a myriad of partners from varied musical and non-musical backgrounds like Kamagurka, Tom Cora, Sonic Youth, Han Bennink, Jan Mulder and Shellac. In 2002 The Ex set up a lively musical exchange with Ethiopia, organised many projects over there and invited several Ethiopian musicians to Europe. Most striking was the collboration with the legendary saxophonist Getatchew Mekuria, which eventually led to two CD recordings and more than a hundred concerts.
The band also started organising the ‘Ex Festivals’, where they invited their favourite musicians. A mix of jazz improvisers, musicians from all over the world and local treasures they came across on tour. The last few years saw collaborations with Brass Unbound (Wolter Wierbos, Mats Gustafsson, Ken Vandermark and Roy Paci), Circus Debre Berhan and Fendika, both from Ethiopia, and many, many more.
After all these years, more than 28 albums and around 2000 concerts the band continues to work as they did in when they began, completely independent of record companies, managers or roadies. Because of this ‘do it yourself’ work ethic The Ex is still a great example for other forward-thinking bands and musicians.
“Staying a bird, staying independent, free if you will, for three decades, that takes skill and something else, something more like heart.” – Music journalist John Corbett on The Ex.
Richard Dawson was, until he appeared at TUSK and Supersonic festivals in 2012, the North East of England’s hidden jewel – a skewed troubadour who sings and plays guitar with a rare intensity and singular style. His voice has been compared to everyone from Tim Buckley to Richard Youngs while his guitar playing recalls Sir Richard Bishop and Zoot Horn Rollo and, combined with the inescapable snare of his lyrics, means surrender to his music is inevitable.
2013 saw Dawson go from local legend to touring Europe twice, performing at festivals such as Latitude, Supernormal, Incubate and SOY and being lauded by Late Junction, The Wire, The Quietus and many more. He ended the year with his album The Glass Trunk being named Leftfield Album Of The Year by Stewart Lee in the Sunday Times, being placed at Number 4 in The Wire's albums of 2013 and being hailed as one of Record Collector's albums of the year.
Afework Negussie is a versatile musician and singer from Gondar in northern Ethiopia. He has a background in the Azmari, and he is also partly trained at the National Theatre in Addis Ababa. Azmari are the voice of freedom of expression in Ethiopia. They improvise constantly, and have commented on politics, religion and everyday life. Their style is very specific, both provocative and humorous.