The Ex-Men have an uncanny ability to divide those who see them. Those left cold by their naughty brand of electro poetry must be literally freezing on this bitter Glasgow night.
The rest of us brave enough to descent the 39 steps downward into the bowels of Oran Mor are kept perfectly warm by our devilishly charming hosts for the evening Jack Sims and Matt Green.
Sporting a cream suit and geniality which may have been discarded by Nigel Havers, Jack at first glance looks like he might have got up to announce the opening of a wedding buffet. Midway through the song lyric “eat the afterbirth” it soon becomes apparent that it is the audience who are on tonight’s menu.
Against the backdrop of fiery rouge lighting and freeze frame strobes, their techno sound-scapes, cavernous bass and fizzing guitars are given free reign to hypnotise us into their world.
Plunging into debut single ‘The Curator’ we are treated to a faultless run through of their debut album A Life of Love. Interactivity is the key of an Ex-Men gig and tonight was no exception, several times this writer was left hiding behind a notebook in an attempt to evade eye contact. ‘Don’t Flinch’ is a common phrase of Jacks tonight but this is a lot easier said than done when socks are being hurled at you, orgasms (very Un Meg Ryan) are being re- enacted and Jack has a 2 way phone argument with himself.
Perhaps the highlight of the evening was the innocent T-Shirt vendor being asked by a confused younger fan what “Jism” meant?.
Or perhaps the highlight was the way that against this filthy ebullience Matt managed to carry out the musicianly duties with such quiet and knowing aplomb. When guest guitarist Dave from Are You Ever Happy, joins them for a twin pronged guitar attack the quiet cool is beefed up even further.
Title track ‘A Life of Love’ actually proves to be THE highlight of this great evening. A groovy slice of Bardotte-esq 60s Paris beat with psych guitar flourishes, this is the one that got the kids dancing.
Closing song ‘Famous’ is almost innocent in its paens to a life beyond getting up for work in the morning. But not so innocent that when Jack bathed in a red glow says “God gave me the power of speech” that we actually believe him…