bright light ! gigs

mogwai @ academy, manchester, uk 18/10/03


  • yes! i am a long way from home
  • hunted by a freak
  • may nothing but happiness come through your door
  • killing all the flies
  • i know you are but what am i?
  • you don't know jesus
  • 2 rights make 1 wrong
  • helicon 1
  • ratts of the capital


  • xmas steps
  • mogwai fear satan

    setlist has 'golden porsche' as first song of encore, this was not played.

    support from bardo pond, with martin bulloch on drums. mogwai joined by caroline barber (cello) on a number of tracks.

    show moved from mdh due to strong ticket sales.


    from david rowland:

    this gig had to be moved up to the academy because the boys sold far more tickets than they had originally anticipated, and on the night they seemed genuinely moved by the sheer amount of love everyone had for them. consequently they raged and played their hearts out until there was nothing left to give.

    there were old treats in store like 'yes! i am a long way from home', and 'may nothing but happiness come thrpugh your door' which they haven't played on tour for ages. both of them built up to suitably impressive climaxes. whenever the opening to material of 'happy songs...' began, there were massive cheers from the crowd and although it has a more mature, slightly more restrained feel to it in the live arena, it was still overwhelmingly powerful.

    the highlight was the final half of the set - 'you don't know jesus' followed immediately by '2 rights...'! what an awesome combination, and this was the only material they played off 'rock action'. 'you don't know...' was soooooo goddam muthafucking intense; the parts where all the guitars converge and explode in massive interstellar bursts of white light that fuse and penetrate your very being. then you were bowled over by the sheer majesty and beauty of '2 rights...'. however, i think everyone's highlight was 'helicon 1' - how sound and music can be this overwhelming, this powerful is beyong more comprehension or understanding as a human being. i saw people with their eyes closed, people bursting into involuntary fits of tears (including me i should admit) and people on their knees in awe and wonder. what a starry-eyed mesmerising experience.

    they ended on a crushing 'ratts of the capital'. it sounded as though the venue itself was falling apart. a death-knell silence descended after its climax and mogwai walked off stage to ear-deafening applause.

    the encore was something special - 'xmas steps' was like being edged closer and closer to a chasm you know will be deeper and darker than anything you've seen before, and then at its climax when barry's enormous guitar riff comes in, you're pushed right over the edge into everlasting space. fantastic. this then moved effortlessly into 'mogwai fear satan' - many peoples favourite 'gwai song, and fuck me it was so heartstoppingly beautful and intense. i wish it could have gone on forever- i would have stood there all night. it just sounded like nothing that could or should exist in this world - like the ascension of one's soul through heavenly realms of grace and beauty. it really, really doesn't get much better than this.

    overheard responses after the gig conclude that this was indeed something special, a personal epiphany for many - and probably one of the most moving experiences of my life. do whatever you can to get a ticket for the remainder of the tour - they are on awesome form.

    from james goldbourne:

    manchester was fookin class... magic show

    i suppose we'll just have to get use to the fucking gubers who chat throughout the shows.... i swear i'm gonna end up in a fight, because every time i tell them to fucking shut up i do it before looking -- (one day it will be a big muthafucker)... but why do these fuckwits buy tickets to experience a band that demands attention, music that requires silence during certain moments, then fucking talk all of the way through?... about shite... i dont fucking care who is in the frigging salon u fucking spotty cunt... i dont give two fucks... i am here for epiphany... so why dont you stay at home and play with your little sister's bits or go see feeder--- so shit the drummer killed himself--- maybe these troglodytes should follow suit... i have a spare belt---

    from tim whitehouse:

    i was at manchester and thought they were as good as i have ever seen them.

    as for the noise, i find the constant talking at the back pretty easy to ignore, which certainly wasn't the case of the people shouting "shhhhhhh!!" and then the inevitable responses of "fuck off" or beer throwing. it's something that will have to be got used to (not that is a new phenomena) and feeder fans probably have the same problem anyway.

    have they been spending all the royalties on new lights or something, used to fearing for the wellbeing of my ears but eyes is a new one.

    from david gill:

    quite a big venue, i had been there a few months ago to see interpol and i was surprised the boys were able to fill it much more than interpol did. it was full, i was glad. i went down to have a look at the t-shirts and the two guys selling were rushed off their feet, i saw one middle aged man spending over 150! another man was debating whether to buy 'rock action' or 'ten rapid', i offered my advice. the brightlight fliers were strategically placed on the sales counter, underneath a lamp, very good.

    it was a pretty solid gig, but not the best i have seen. having seen the belfast reviews about noise, i am surprised no-one had mentioned the noise at manchester, it was by far the noisiest mogwai gig i have ever been to. during the delicate moments of 'may nothing..' (during which a girl in front of me collapsed) and later 'christmas steps', the noise was pretty unbearable, a crescendo of shhhuuuussshhh's, shut up's and quiet's were positively drowned out by the noise towards the back of the crowd. what are these fucking people doing watching a gig if they can't be quiet, especially a mogwai gig. if this is the consequence of mogwai having a decent selling album then so be it, maybe the intimate days have gone?

    at one point, someone shouted out for a song which had already been played! stuart responded by saying shouting out requests for songs was both futile and embarrassing. the encore was fantastic and was the first time i have been to a mogwai gig in four years without them playing 'jewish hymn'.

    from tan coul:

    certainly a good show, but rather spoiled by the most chattery audience it's ever been my misfortune to put up with. i wasn't one of those who yelled "shut the f*** up" in the encore, but i was with them in spirit - every time there was a quiet passage it was difficult to make out the music over the crowd noise. mind, the two morons behind me were even shouting to each other during the loudest passages...

    as for the gig itself, both bands were excellent, first time i've heard bardo pond live but they quickly won me over, and nice to have a decent length of performance from a support act as well. mogwai were alarmingly quiet all in all, at least compared to the two times i've seen them in liverpool - on each of those occasions it took a good two weeks for my hearing to fully return, but despite ending up within five feet of the speaker stacks last night i woke up this morning without even a slight ringing in my ears. and no 'mfmk', presumably due to the 11 pm curfew? but a cracking encore performance of steps/satan instead, after closing the main set with my personal fave ratts, made up for all those other niggles.

    but i have to admit, it paled beside the sheer majesty of their barfly gig on may 18th - that was the best gig of my life, never mind this year. anything after had to be a disappointment to some degree, and it's to mogwai's credit that i still enjoyed last night as much as i did.