bright light ! gigs

mogwai @ coal exchange, cardiff, uk 02/04/06


  • mogwai fear satan
  • friend of the night
  • killing all the flies
  • folk death 95
  • acid food
  • ithica 27o9
  • kids will be skeletons
  • travel is dangerous
  • hunted by a freak
  • helicon 1
  • 2 rights make 1 wrong
  • glasgow mega-snake


  • ratts of the capital
  • we're no here

    thanks james and rik.

    support from the magnificents.



    by the time main act mogwai hit the stage the coal exchange was jammed to its 140 year old rafters with the sell out crowd including super furry animal gryff skulking at the back of the hall. i had never seen noise merchants mogwai before, but had heard tales of legendary volume levels at their gigs high enough to induce vomiting, deafness and sensory loss - on their quieter nights. this urban myth was supported by the sight outside the venue of the biggest juggernaut of pa gear ever seen in these parts - the sort you see outside the cia or nec, not a 500 capacity former coal exchange!

    there was an air of heady expectation as the band launched into mogwai fear satan from their debut young team album. picking the majority of the set from their latest (and best) album mr beast and a selection from their previous happy songs for happy people the band seemed to be enjoying sending a sonic boom through the audience. at one point in glasgow mega snake, the bass seemed to hit a frequency i have never experienced in nearly 30 years of gig-going. i could feel the vibrations run from the floor up my body to the top of my head until it felt like every hair was physically on its end! spinal tap may have amps that go up to 11 but these boys have the ones that go up to 12! with songs that go from virtual silence to blistering volume in the blink of an eye, maybe their shows should have health warnings as the shock could be too much for anyone of a nervous disposition! lead guitarist stuart braithwaite enjoyed every second of controlling the sheer energy their music drives through the air and for finale we’re no here simply played the same two chords (and the audiences full attention) for a full five minutes before the song descended into a cacophony of noise and lights. their sound and lighting crew must surely be some of the best in the business as they were in total control of the halls atmosphere for the 100 minute set and without distortion, allowed the music to levitate the crowd off of the floor. the mogwai records give you an idea what they are about, but live, they are a mesmerising and altogether enthralling aural proposition. if the authorities get to hear about this lot they’ll start putting noise terrorists in the music equivalent of guantanamo bay!

    from james woodard:

    unbelievable show last night, one of my best ever (it was my 17th i think). the venue was gorgeous, and the high ceiling allowed the band to fully show off their ace incredible hulk light show (it's mainly purple and green!). a perfect set list, amazing sound and two, count em, two punishing white noise sections - one all-digital at the end of '2 wrongs', and one with loads of delay at the climax of the show (after 'we're no here'). absolute classic performance.

    from rik rawling:

    i went, despite tonsilitis and an ear infection, and some time during '...mega-snake' something popped in my ear and 'fluid' (blood, pus?) ran down my throat. that's never happened at a mogwai gig before.

    they were awesome, btw. the loudest i've ever heard, and totally intense and focused. 'helicon 1' was incredible and 'mega-snake' was so heavy that you could feel the floorboards shaking. the last 15 minutes were stuart, on his knees, seemingly lost in some trance, pounding his guitar to create wave after wave of punishing vibrations. nobody was leaving, even though there were a lot of people looking around with worried expression on their faces. "what next?" they were clearly uncomfortable, as this was not part of the script. mogwai continue to make 99% of other bands look utterly redundant. why do these fools even bother getting out of bed of a morning? drop your empty rock & roll fantasies and learn how to drive a bus instead.