Review: All Our Exes Live in Texas

Witty folk quartet All Our Exes Live in Texas entertained dedicated fans with sublime harmonies and great banter.

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An unusual site greeted Jive attendees for the recent ‘All Our Exes Live In Texas’ performance with a number of tables and chairs adorning the main area. This was a sign of refined, contemplative evening to come with thought provoking alt-folk music.
To commence the night, Northern Irish folk all-male quartet Ports produced gentle on point harmonies. The non-microphone based vocals were a nice touch, but were too quiet to hear over the hand dryer in the toilets. The soft string instruments and the use of a cajón (a percussive box the player sits on and hits with their hands) allowed for a more subtly textured sound.

The show put on by All Our Exes Live in Texas was a classy, highly entertaining performance with beautifully arranged harmonies, heartfelt songs and razor sharp wit. Impressively, as individuals they are all great singers and the fact that all singers sang lead at points was impressive, as was the specialisation in the different instruments: accordian, mandolin, ukelele and guitar. The arrangements were diverse and precise and varied in intensity.

Where they excel, however, is the fact that their complex harmonies are very well honed and they start each song perfectly in synch with one another. “Sailboat” was stunning and one of the picks of the night, sad and touching with icey sharp pitches in the harmonies and emotive longing vocals.

The act is renowned for the interplay between the musicians in the space between songs. The confident banter was hilarious and the anecdotes explaining the lyrics made for a much richer gig.

The collaboration between both bands at the end was a touching finale to a show that was thoroughly enjoyed by all and went off without a hitch. The only complaint was the unusual gold backdrop looked horrendously green in the lighting and was somewhat unnecessary, albeit as a unique talking point for the act.

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