mogwai were joined by four string players and a three-piece brass
section. gruff rhys sang on dial:revenge.
support from eugene kelly.
the show took place on the isle of bute. many fans arrived from mainland scotland on a
specially chartered ferry, returning in the same manner after the show. a fleet of buses was
employed between glasgow and the ferry. an aftershow party was held on the renfrew ferry on the
river clyde in central glasgow.
the whole show was filmed, as were many other aspects of the day including the buses from
glasgow and the ferry crossing.
nme news story:
bute and the beasts
mogwai are inviting fans to join them on a ferry to the isle of
bute off the west coast of scotland for a special gig to launch
their new album, 'rock action'.
the band's first uk gig in a year takes place at the 1,000-capacity
rothesay pavilion on april 14, and the band will be selling tickets
which include coach travel from glasgow and a 40-minute crossing
from wemyss bay to rothesay aboard a specially chartered ferry,
which will be the only means of return from bute after the show.
tickets without travel are also available.
keyboard player barry burns told nme.com: "we're dying to go
gigging again because we've not played for a while, and this is
going to be fantastic. no one has ever played there before, except
for leo sayer and lindisfarne, apparently. we used to go there
when we were kids. it's a bit like the french riviera of scotland, but
with all these dilapidated crazy-golf courses."
mogwai will play a full set with a string and brass section. fans will
be able to travel back with mogwai on the ferry if they have a ticket
including travel, which costs #18.50. they can then go on to a club
night on the renfrew ferry, a former passenger ferry now docked
on the river clyde in central glasgow.
burns said: "tickets are cheap and i reckon we've done a pretty
good job on it. compare it to, say, richard ashcroft at brixton
academy [also £18.50]."
from nme (neil thomson):
mogwai: isle of bute rothesay pavilion
in a world of compromise, musical, artistic and
commercial, mogwai are one of the few bands that
refuse to sell out. like the space station babylon 5
they are a beacon and a symbol of real punk rock hope
in the brand saturated universe that our music scene
which is perhaps part of the reason that a few hundred
die hard mogwai fans boarded the saturn ferry for an
hour's trip across the irish sea to the isle of bute
for mogwai's uk live debut of material form their
third album 'rock action'. partly an act of proustian
reconstruction (many of the band members and their
fans holidayed here as children) and partly a typical
act of defiance, tonight they prove again and again
that no matter where they play, remote scottish island
or shepherds bush empire, mogwai are the best live
band in the world.
the slower sort of exploding starts with 'sine wave'
and the venue (usually used for scottish dancing
classes and aerobics sessions) begins to shake. the
tender violence of oldie live favourite 'xmas steps'
raises the air pressure inside to near ear imploding
point. stuart braithwaite steps to the mic for 'take
me somewhere nice' and sings of seeing "spaceships
over glasgow" and it seems the most natural sight in
gruff sfa joins up for welsh language 'dial: revenge'
while encore 'my father my king' ( previously known as
'jewish song' which debuted at all tomorrow's parties
last year) proves that no mogwai show is over until
guitarist john cummins says it is. he's still on stage
ten minutes after the rest of the band have evacuated
in splendid noise and feedback.
the ferry departs on the stroke of 10pm and a few are
left behind still reeling from buckfast and the
intensity of the show. so it's with a cheery wave from
stranded youngsters the good ship saturn returns to
port. why can't anyone else be bothered to do
something as original and brilliant as mogwai on the
isle of bute? all our respect is due.
i had a pretty good time at the weekend - although having a big hangover and then getting on a boat isn't usually my idea of fun.
the trip to rothesay was more like something belle and sebastian would organise (that's not a bad thing) - after meeting everyone in
sleazies we went up to the bus station for about 2pm. there were 6 or 7 big double-decker buses waiting to take us away from
buchanan street to wemyss bay, then we waited about half an hour for the ferry across to rothesay. there was a pub in the ferry but i
decided i wanted to sit outside, at the front for the whole trip and it was really cold, so cold we went straight to the chippy when we
got off and met our pals. the whole town was swamped with indie kids and minor pop stars (well, gruff rhys); it reminded me of the
bowlie, especally when i was accosted by some japanese girls because they'd never seen chips and cheese before - i let them all
try it and they went straight into the chipshop, so they must have liked it...
anyway, the gig was in a place called the pavilion which was like a social club/town hall/disco. there wasn't a cloakroom - but
you could hang your jacket up on a coathanger. even the bouncers were friendly.....it was really good.
eugene kelly supported, i didn't really watch, i think i heard some vaselines songs though - one called 'molly's lips'.
mogwai started off with a new track- 'sine wave' (i'm told), it had some distorted electronics
playing over what seemed like a normal mogwai tune and was quite cool - their new stuff reminds
me a bit of aerial m, but not quite as clean sounding. it all still has a 'shimmering' quality that i associate with their music. i think
they had a drum machine onstage with them - i had a seat at the side and couldn't be bothered moving (i was still feeling a bit rough)
so i couldn't see too much of what was going on. they had some kind of string section as well. i wasn't all that impressed with the
tracks that had singing - gruff's one was okay, he sang in welsh (i'm sure) and it was better than the others but still a wee bit wishy
washy. the other new stuff seemed quite good. they played 'jewish song' (i'm not sure if that's the right name for it) but best moment
of the night was when they played 'christmas steps'. everytime i hear that song live i get the goosebumps. the set picked up for me
from then on.
i had a grand time at mogwai. they've already put some photos up
on the official mogwai site. i took about 60 photos myself throughout
the day so hopefully they'll come out good.
probably the best day out ever i'd say. it was very similar to atp in
terms of bemused locals and holiday/school trip atmosphere. and your
ticket had all these tear off sections for each part of the day and
you kept expecting there to be one for a free ice cream and a raffle
i was kind of amazed by how many people sat inside on the ferry and
probably would have been just as happy if the gig had been at the
barrowlands. where was their sense of having a fun day out?
the gig itself wasn't the best ever but the new songs were sounding
really good. '2 rights' was particularly fantastic and they were all
obviously enjoying themselves, running around and playing with various
electronic trickery. it was also incredibly loud. i've deafened myself
so much in past years that i never get ringing in my ears but after
this i still can't hear properly in one ear thanks to there not being
anywhere for photographers so i ended up right in front of the
speakers jostling with the overexcitable local rothesay kids.
photos by jim mason.