This show was at Le Hublot, which was a little troublesome for me to find as it’s quite a walk from my residence and located in a part of town I had never been to before. I went here to see Netherland’s The Ex play, along with local favorites FiliaMotSa, and a young French band that opened up the show. It’s actually a venue for music performance on the campus of Nancy University – part of their student union – but, perhaps because of the long legacy of The Ex, there was a noticeably older crowd here in support. This venue has a real punk atmosphere to it – lots of chipped concrete walls, spray paint, and handbills everywhere.
The opening band was a six-piece called Blue Taint. They are high school aged kids who had won the local “best young band” showcase, or whatever you want to call it, award. You could tell they were really excited to be playing this show. I noticed lots of parents and friends of the band in the audience with cameras and camcorders. The band sounded a little too derivative of Rage Against The Machine for my liking, but their excitement was infectious and I did really enjoy seeing them with this nervous energy coming through for both band and audience alike.
FiliaMotSa are an incredible French violin and drums duo from Lorraine. They have a great 7 song LP out which you all should check out which was recorded at L’Autre Canal in Nancy and that they released in 2009. Although they played some of this show as just a duo, on this night they were also joined by a tenor saxophone player. This brought their striped down Godspeed You Black Emporer-ish post rock into contact with an Albert Ayler styled skronk. If this show was indicative of all of their live performances, then you should attempt to see FiliaMotSa play by any means necessary.
The Ex were in classic form. This was the third time I’ve seen them play, so I knew what to expect and did not want to miss out on the possibility of seeing them play live again. The last time I saw them was in Portland, Oregon, and during this show they were a large ensemble, most notably joined by famous free-jazz drummer Han Bennink. They’ve been through some line-up changes in the last year (departure of founding member G.W. Sok and replacement by new singer and guitarist Arnold de Boer), but as a whole appear to have emerged energized from these changes and have now released a new album. During this show in Nancy the line-up was I believe the current one: Terrie Hessels, Arnold de Boer, Katherina Bornefeld, and Andy Moor. I had the option of seeing the Dave Holland Quintet play the same night, but I had to admit, after some more mellow shows during the previous week of the Nancy Jazz Pulsations Festival, I was a little ECM’ed out if you know what I mean. Tonight, I was ready to rock. The price for this show was also considerably less than seeing the Dave Holland Quintet, so that was a major factor contributing to my decision to see this show.