Ex Hex - Manchester Soup Kitchen

With a name taken from lead singer Mary Timony’s back catalogue, and some of debut Rips apparently written with other projects in mind, it would be easy to simply judge Ex Hex as just another facet of her now quarter century career. That, however, pays disservice to band mates Betsy Wright and Laura Harris who, on tonight's rocking showing, convince that this is very much a band.

There's clearly something in the contract that every visiting band are required to mention the city's musical heritage, and who are Ex Hex to break the chain? Still, they're not here to pay homage to Joy Division or Morrissey; instead they use their Riot Grrrl chops to tackle 70s rock and pop in take-no-prisoners fashion. Conversation is minimal, yet the interplay is palpable and the fun infectious.

While they pull mainly on the power pop trio format, the instrumental 'Beast' proves their raw edge; ‘How You Got That Girl’ and ‘You Fell Apart’ are a chance to show off some pretty good vocal harmonies too. It doesn't rip up the rule book, but it doesn't need to - if nothing else, these ladies will utterly tear you apart.

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