The Ex, Dog Faced Hermans – Dublin 1992

EXDogFaced

November 6 1992

The Ex, Dog Faced Hermans –

Fox + Pheasant (moved from Charlies Bar)
The Ex were a band whose records I listened to more than any others. I couldn’t hold back my excitement when Gaynor inquired about them coming over for one day withΒ  Dog Faced Hermans. They were amazing and The Ex also played a gig afterwards as part of Bolton Street Rag week.

Green Day Accounts

Hope Show 115 – the lowdown

Hope Show 115 – the lowdown

connolly

 

Hope Show 115
1. Black Bank Folk w/ Damien Dempsey – Aunt Jenny
2. The Clash – White Riot
3. Paranoid Visions – From Dublin With Love
4. Against Me – Pints of guinness makes you strong
5. The Three Johns – The World of the workers is wild
6. Half Man Half Biscuit – National Shite Day
7. The Redskins – Lev Bronstein
8. The Neurotics – Take Strike Action
9. Hard Skin – The Kids Are Innocent
10. The Ex – Walt’s Dizzyland
11. The Evens – All These Governors
12. Fugazi – Merchandise

Starting off tonight with local Dublin folksters who have just released an album celebrating the events of Easter Week in 1916 in Ireland. Damien Dempsey has a song on the record celebrating the joint effort put in by women that somehow has been erased from that fight. The invisible ink is reappearing and thanks to songs like this (and the events themselves) they are getting noticed once more.
As the Rebellion was pretty much a riot why not get the Clash to celebrate it. Actually tonights show whilst coinciding with 100 Easter festivals since the Rising in 1916 is more of a ode to a list of favourite albums that i was asked to compile. I found it almost impossible to limit to double digits never mind fourteen. I tried but in vain. The Clash were top of that list though, no question.
Top Irish band is Paranoid Visions, hands down. Steadily releasing on the button songs reflecting the thoughts of a generation, a generation being ignored. From Dublin with love is from their 1983 demo.

Against Me made my list – their Reinventn’ axl rose album really is a class record. When I first heard it I was ready to follow their revolution but really you need to make your own. ‘Pints of Guinness makes you strong’ is not really encouraging you to drink guinness, sure it’s not even vegetarian.

One thing that has really struck me this week is how quick people are to dismiss a group of workers on strike if it means inconveniencing them. Our Luas (tram) drivers are on strike for better pay and conditions. The latest offer recommended by mediators was dismissed 99% by the workers. That shows a committed and united workforce. So they won’t go to work on Easter Sunday, they will stay home, eat easter eggs and not get paid. Many people will wish to get into the city to see the Easter Parade, celebrating the work of James Connolly and other Volunteers who gave up their life to create a republic. Some of these people would have travelled by luas and now they can’t. Is that reason not to support workers in their struggle?

The Redskins would have always supported strike action, as would have the Newtown Neurotics. These bands, along with the three Johns and Billy Bragg gave me a musical introduction into trade unions. I then moved on to Woody Guthries and other
traditional songs but these bands took the music I listened to and said, workers whould be in unions and picket lines should always be respected.

Hard Skin were near to my list of albums, didn’t quite get there but i thought you’d like to hear the kids are innocent.

The Ex did make it and could have been in there a few times. A more recent, if 2001 can be classed as recent, release made the list. Dizzy Spells is 12 classics mixed into an overall great. Walts Dizzyland is top of my mix when dj’ing too.

The recorded output of Dischord records could have made up my top 10, it certainly is one of the seminal labels. I’ve taken 2 with an Ian McKaye mix but there’s a lot more that could have been in here.

I’ve left it short as I need to start walking to town πŸ™‚

niallhope

Bands that changed a life – The Ex

theex

I will never forget the first time the ex came to Dublin. We had been putting on gigs for a few years and had seen many troubadors in those initial days. My parents had a world opened up to them they never knew existed as bands came for lunch before their Dublin gigs. The biggest problem was getting places for bands to stay. Thankfully there were some very kind Dublin punks who opened their rented spaces for bands to lie their heads for the evening. When the Ex and Dog Faced Hermans came to town Fergus and Michael were the willing hosts.

Usually when a band drove it was some sort of van, we had the membranes and their multi coloured affair and the people from working class northside of Dublin were suitably intrigued. Howev er the extook on another dimension. Of course it is 25 years but my memory is of a fire engine, parked on the street with people spilliing out.

That kind of sums the ex up, majestic and unpredictable. I had some of their records and they were better educators than my history teacher in school. The Spanish Civil War, world poverty and the plight of the Kurds were all brought to my attention by the ex. My wall at home had a few press clippings and pictures but in the middle of all this was a huge poster of an archetypal business man in a suit withpockets out to give an impression of being penniless. The header stated, “Home taping is killing music…..” and the footer proudly read “… And about time too.”

The sentiments were spot on. Sure we taped records by bands but it wasn’t to get around buying the album it was to check out the music. If we liked it we tried to get the record. Major labels were concerned at loss of sales and us punks were ok with that.

So the ex took their bass guitar and drums and made their tribal sound. It was cutting but still had a beat. It wasn’t all about chords but guitar solos were still very much down the list. Majestic. When I was playing bass in my band I tried to copy that sharp sound, i never worried too much about notes but more the pounding rhythm, it was a pale imitation but each time I went on stage I thought about the Ex and the sound they made.

25 years later they were back in Dublin, as good as ever with some line up changes along the way but they have lost none of that abandon from the early days.

Cannibales and Vahines – Songs For a Free Body

cannibales

Cannibales and Vahines
Songs For a Free Body
Freddy Morezon Productions

All We Want
is that which makes
us less than free
should stop
now

Since leaving the Ex as its lead singer and troubador GW Sok has been as busy as ever. His artisitic output continues to grow as he collaborates with many around Europe.

This time it is with French artists Cannibales & Vahines. We get the trademark GW vocals, spat and spoken with a jazz improv background. The words are always meaningful and we start with Whatever, one of GW’s more downbeat opines. Almost like the lost activist or using the term we have all resorted to when dealing with what we perceive as ignorance…Whatever!!!

The lyrics generally are more downbeat than previous observations, more of an introspective nature. It reminds me of the thoughts that go through my head as I’m jogging along, solitary with the pavement, wondering why things are so bleak.

Musically the saxophone is prevalent amongst guitar bass and drums. Very much an improvised feel with a solid beat always prevalent. GW sings with his monotone drawl whilst the drum and bass travel solidly along. We then get the rhythm of the guitar vying with sax in a battle to join in, looking to participate, wanting to be on the drum and bass team. Many of the tracks are like those long walks you go on in a strange city (well some of you), where you aren’t sure where you are heading and get to the next corner to see what surprise awaits you.

It all finishes poignantly with a Free Body as GW simply reflects that all we ask for is that what makes us less free should stop

niallhope

This weeks news September 14

xslf
This weeks news September 14

Now that was a good week for gigs – Jello with Guantanamo School of Medicine on a bill with Sissy and Paranoid Visions last Wednesday in the Button Factory. And then two days later the Ex in Whelans. Something else. Spolied for choice again this week with Danko Jones, Sissy + Exploding Eyes, Sleaford Mods, XSLF + Hooligan and Disguise all on over the next 7 days

Some good music being released too
UK diy trio Grubs have just released β€˜It Must Be Grubs’, a short-spanning but instantly charming first work. Spanning eleven tracks, β€˜It Must Be Grubs’ blitzes through ramshackle, energised garage rock without ever looking back. Like hitching on a bike, riding downhill and realising the brakes don’t work, it’s a chaotic journey into the unknown, more rough-edged and free-spirited with every song. β€˜Windwaker’ shakes off mid-week blues, while β€˜Good Timez’ ends things on an all-smiles moment of rejoice.
There’s always a happy ending with this record. The band consists of Joanna Gruesome members Owen Williams and Roxy Brennan (also in Two White Cranes and Towel) and former
DIY scribe / champion of fashion Jake May. β€˜It Must Be Grubs’ officially out came out on Friday 11th September on Reeks of Effort.

One of the best podcasts I’ve listened to is turned out a punk . It features a conversatio with someone sho was influneced by punk rock and is a great document of our movement. One of the more interesting ones is a conversation with Danko Jones. Whilst the music of Danko Jones was too steeped in metal for my ears I never realised how much Danko identified with punk and hardcore. They are in Whelans on September 18

With the September 18 release of their forthcoming second LP Sun Coming Down fast approaching, Ought have now shared a full stream of their new album one week prior to release. Including the smouldering yet introspective fan-favourite “Beautiful Blue Sky” and thrilling album-opener β€œMen For Miles”, these are two gems in this album of many…
OUGHT’S NEW ALBUM SUN COMING DOWN out now on Constellation Sun Coming Down maintains the band’s tight, twitchy and economical sound, with the unfussy, understated rhythm section of drummer
Tim Keen and bassist Ben Stidworthy anchoring Tim Darcy’s electric guitar and Matt May’s fuzzed-out keys (sounding, as often as not, like a second guitar). Ought pursue an artistically apposite austerity in committing these new songs to tape, referencing the arid and unvarnished production of no-wave and early indie rock while balancing carved-out angularity against an evolving comfort with textural coalescences and measured pacing. It makes for an album that’s consistently, insistently propulsive but also feels unhurried and pleasantly unhyped. Songs like ‘Beautiful Blue Sky’ (already a fan favourite from live shows) and ‘Never Better’ unfold with gradual and deliberate ebb and flow, where scratchy guitars play like dappled shards of light on gently roiling waves of bass and organ; ‘The Combo’ and ‘Celebration’ keep things crisp and concise. Darcy’s voice and lyrics continue to distinguish and define the personality of the band: his blend of ironic detachment, declarative insistence, fragmentary stammering poetics, and the occasional direct aside to the listener, finds various ways to weave within or drive through the mixes. Sun Coming Down confirms the distinctive vitality and purposive naturalism of this band; Ought resists facile primitivism and
overhyped dynamics in equal measure, keeping things hermetic but never airless, ascetic but never dispassionate, literate but never prolix. The band’s steady and subtle charms don’t make them the cool kids or the iconoclastic freaks – just a satisfyingly unrefined and substantive rock band that eschews indulgence or aesthetic bandwagoneering to seek a humble, thoughtful corner from which to articulate a position within and contribute meaningfully to a 40-year continuum of indie, punk and DIY tradition.

Forthcoming Gigs

danko Jones + The Amorettes – Whelans – September 18

Sissy + Exploding Eyes + Shrug Life – Sweeneys – September 19

Sleaford Mods – Hangar – September 19

XSLF + Hooligan – Fibber Magees – September 19

La Misma + Disguise + Overbite + Surge – Tenterhooks – September 20

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Whelans – September 26

The Winter Passing + Chewing on tinfoil + Kates party + Driveaway – Grand Social September 26

Wheatus – Whelans – September 28

B Dolan – Wormkans Club – September 29

We Shall Overcome – Dublin – October 2-4

Hard Working Class Heroes – Dublin – October 2+3

Juan Wauters + No Monster Club – Whelans – October 4

The Lemonheads – Academy – October 5

Hey Rosetta – Workmans Club – October 9

Giveamanakick – Whelans – October 10

Nothing Clean – Tenterhooks – October 10

Cockney Rejects – Grand Social – October 10

Inner Terrestials + Dubtones + Suckin Diesel + Jobseekers + Kluster-Fux – Fibber Magees – October 16

English Dogs – Fibber Magees – October 23

dAVID kITT – wHELANS – oCTOBER 24

Litovsk – Dublin – October 25

US Girls – Whelans – October 25

Liturgy – Whelans – October 26

Dragster + Angry Itch + Stop start Again + Black Pitts + Jobseekers – Fibbers – October 30

Deer hunter button factory – November 1

Slaves – The Academy – November 5

Girl Band – Button Factory – November 7

Stiff Little Fingers – The Academy – November 13

Coitus + Paranoid Visions + Coldwar + Liberty – Fibbers – November 14

Mercury Rev – Button Factory November 22

Chelsea Wolfe – Button Factory November 25

Peter Hook and the Light – The Academy – November 27

OM – Button Factory – November 28

Therapy – Button Factory December 11

The Selecter – The Academy – December 11

Bad Manners – The Academy – december 28

This Weeks news – September 7

This weeks news September 7

The Winter Passing release their debut album, A different Space of Mind on September 18 on 6131 records
The launch gig for their pop punk emo mix in Ireland is in Grand Social on the 26th, the band will then cross the Irish Sea for a UK tour in October

Another good release this week is from Scotlands Make That a Take Records. They are releaseing the Dark Days EP from Perth band PMX . β€œDark Days” is a mission statement that combines the pop-punk sensibilities of their earlier material with razor-sharp guitars, massive harmonies and a pervading darkness wrapped up with a super-speedy technical and progressive skate punk edge. Bursting with passion, frustration and a healthy dose of existential angst, β€œDark Days” takes classic skate punk/melodic hardcore and adds an undeniable Scottishness with an injection of thrash metal, like classic Fat Wreck meets early 00s UK punk rock, never a dud release on that label.

Jello

Of course this is UMack Week – Two classic gigs on the way in Dublin. Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine with two of the best bands from the Dublin punk scene – Paranoid Visions and Sissy on Wednesday night
To celebrate the gig I dedicated my radio show to songs sung by Jello this week. Spanning all the Dead Kennedys records as well as collaborations with the Melvins, Al Jurgenson, NO WTO and a solo track as well as some songs from GSM who are playing this week

And then when you’ve had Thursday to recover we see the ex coming to Whelans.

the ex

For anyone left in the punk scene who don’t know about the Ex
“THE EX is a punk, industrial and experimental band from Amsterdam, Netherlands. They formed in 1979 at the height of the original punk explosion and have released over twenty full-length albums since, making them one of the longest-lived and most influential underground bands (along with The Fall) still in existence. THE EX just celebrated its 33β…“ year anniversary with a series of festivals. Not merely retrospective but primarily forward-looking and adventurous.
The Ex have defied categorization 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 ther starting point THE EX have continued to musically explore undiscovered areas right up to the present day: the early 1980s saw collaborations with industrial, experimental and jazz musicians and an Iraqi-Kurdish band. In the 90s the group found a myriad of partners from varied musical and non-musical backgrounds including Kamagurka, Tom Cora, Sonic Youth, Han Bennink, Jan Mulder, Shellac and Wolter Wierbos. In 2002 The Ex set up a lively musical exchange with Ethiopia, which eventually led to two CD recordings and hundreds of concerts with the legendary saxophonist Getatchew Mekuria.
After 33β…“ years, more than 25 albums and around 1800 performances the band continues to work as they did in when they began, completely independent of record companies, managers or roadies. Because of this β€˜do it yourself’ work ethic The Ex is still a great example for other forward-thinking bands and musicians.
The Ex debuted with a single titled β€œStupid Americans” on the Utregpunx vinyl 7β€³ compilation released by Rock Against records in Rotterdam. The release of their first 7β€³ All Corpses Smell the Same came shortly thereafter in 1980. Through the decades they gradually developed into their current form of highly intricate, experimental punk/post-punk/no wave-inspired work. Always involved in a large number of projects, both in and outside the band, its members have been able to keep their music fresh and exciting, and, some opine, constantly better.
Breaking from the relatively narrow confines of punk rock, The Ex has incorporated a wide array of influences, often from non-Western and non-rock sources. Some include Hungarian and Turkish folk songs, and more recently music from Ethiopia (including collaborations with Ethipian saxophonist Gétatchèw Mèkurya, Congo (shown in their tribute to Congolese street band Konono Nº1 and Eritrea (whose independence song is covered on Turn). Other examples of branching out stylistically include the improvised double album Instant and a release under the moniker Ex Orkest, a 20 piece big band assembled for performances at the esteemed Holland Festival.
The band has had successful collaborations with many disparate artists, including UK anarchist band Chumbawamba (sometimes using the name Antidote), Dog Faced Hermans, and with the late avant-garde cellist Tom Cora in the early 1990s, resulting in the watershed album Scrabbling At the Lock in 1991 and the follow-up And the Weathermen Shrug Their Shoulders in 1993. They have also collaborated with members of Sonic Youth, Dutch improvisers ICP Orchestra, and released a collaborative EP with America’s Tortoise.
In January 2009, front man and founding member G.W. Sok announced on the band’s website he quit the band. Arnold de Boer from the Amsterdam band Zea replaced him.”

And after that, if you have any energy left you can go see Vic Goddard and Subway Sect in Fibber Magees

niallhope

Forthcoming Gigs

Workmans Club 5th Birthday Celebrations – Sept 8th – 12th
Al Porter – Sept 8th
The Hot Sprockets – Sept 9th
Little Green Cars w/ guests Other Creatures – Sept 10th
Little Green Cars w/ guests Bleeding Heart Pigeons – Sept 11th
Eternal Summers w/ guests Pleasure Beach – Sept 12th
Tickets to all shows just €5

Jello Biafra + Paranoid Visions + Sissy – Hangar September 9

The Ex plus guests – Whelans – September 11

Vic Goddard and Subway Sect + The Dubtones + Gakk – Fibber Magees – September 11

Eternal Summers + Pleasure Beach – Workmans Club – September 12

Dope Body – Whelans – September 12

August Wells – Workmans Club – September 13

Sleaford Mods – Hangar – September 19

XSLF + Hooligan – Fibber Magees – September 19

La Misma + Disguise + Overbite + Surge – Dublin September 20
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Whelans – September 26

The Winter Passing + Chewing on tinfoil + Kates party + Driveaway – Grand Social September 26

Wheatus – Whelans – September 28

B Dolan – Wormkans Club – September 29

We Shall Overcome – Dublin – October 2-4

Hard Working Class Heroes – Dublin – October 2+3

Juan Wauters + No Monster Club – Whelans – October 4

The Lemonheads – Academy – October 5

Hey Rosetta – Workmans Club – October 9

Giveamanakick – Whelans – October 10

Nothing Clean – Tenterhooks – October 10

Cockney Rejects – Grand Social – October 10

Inner Terrestials – Fibber Magees – October 16

English Dogs – Fibber Magees – October 23

dAVID kITT – wHELANS – oCTOBER 24

Litovsk – Dublin – October 25

US Girls – Whelans – October 25

Liturgy – Whelans – October 26

Dragster + Angry Itch + Stop start Again + Black Pitts + Jobseekers – Fibbers – October 30

Deer hunter button factory – November 1

Slaves – The Academy – November 5

Girl Band – Button Factory – November 7

Stiff Little Fingers – The Academy – November 13

Coitus + Paranoid Visions + Coldwar + Liberty – Fibbers – November 14

Mercury Rev – Button Factory November 22

Chelsea Wolfe – Button Factory November 25

Peter Hook and the Light – The Academy – November 27

OM – Button Factory – November 28

Therapy – Button Factory December 11

The Selecter – The Academy – December 11

Bad Manners – The Academy – december 28