bright light ! gigs

mogwai @ queens hall, edinburgh, uk 19/05/03

poster by steve harradine


  • kids will be skeletons
  • mogwai fear satan
  • golden porsche
  • you don't know jesus
  • hunted by a freak
  • xmas steps
  • ratts of the capital
  • stop coming to my house
  • helicon 1
  • two rights make one wrong


  • i know you are but what am i? (listed but not played)
  • my father my king

    thanks to andy mcculloch and dave muir.

    kids will be skeletons, mogwai fear satan, hunted by a freak, stop coming to my house and helicon 1 were broadcast on bbc radio 1's 'session in scotland' show on 29th may 2003.

    support from kling klang


    thanks to dave muir for these scans of the 'evening times' review by doug johnstone.

    click for larger images


    from andy mcculloch:

    kling klang were a revelation. i'd heard and liked their ep, but playing live just gives them an even more rocking edge. mogwai, as good as they were, seemed to be having equipment trouble (barry didn't look happy at all) and this kinda took the edge of an otherwise great performance. 'fear satan' was as good as i've ever heard it and i was grinning like a cheshire cat during the feedback frenzy that concluded 'my father my king'. of the new songs, 'ratts of the capital' was great but the remainder, whilst good, didn't really have the 'fuck me, that's loud!!' parts to cover any faults. that's may come accross as mere nit-picking, but i know the record's good, i just think that the songs need a little more rehearsing. post-gig, i was due to get a poster signed by the band but some twat set off the fire alarm prompting an evacuation of the building. and, thanks to work, couldn't make the post-gig party at the cooler. but never mind, cuz it was a blast.

    from the scotsman:


    mogwai have been playing a game of steady darts for the last seven years. their initially uncompromising sound - largely instrumental swathes of woozy guitar ambience punctuated regularly by searing repetitive blasts of concentrated riffing, delivered studiously by five stoney-faced young men in kappa tracksuits - was never an obvious recipe for success but scored highly with other young men who were equally serious about their intake of bludgeoning guitars, so that against the odds, mogwai has become one of scotland’s most consistently successful bands.

    but there remains a nagging feeling that they have touched as many people as they are going to. their left-field soundtracks have been paid the highest compliment - scores of imitators - and now that drone isn’t punky any more.

    mogwai’s soon to be released fourth album, the ironically titled happy songs for happy people, is their lightest in mood to date but only represents the slightest shift in mo. they have branched out in other ways though, principally by starting their own label - rock action - and their recent signings kling klang, who do punk wildness with synthesisers, were last night’s pleasingly unhinged support act.

    mogwai opened with skeletons, a pretty piece of nouveau psychedelia in the tranquil vein of spiritualized. the old favourite mogwai fear satan was a bruiser of an epic, with tribal drums, glitter ball embellishment and the kind of ear-bleedingly loud coda which could frighten the uninitiated.

    the majority of this audience were braced for this deluge and also for the moment when xmas steps, another trusty warhorse, broke into its spunky rock staccato.

    mogwai have been criticised for choosing predictable set lists, to which their riposte is that they only recycle the best of their catalogue.

    one more valid complaint is their lack of stage presence, or more specifically (because there isn’t much you can do about a charisma void) the absence of any kind of alternative visual stimuli.

    even though their textured instrumentals could happily be complemented by some form of slide show, they stuck to prosaic lighting configurations and the occasional bog-standard back projection.

    without any recreational distractions, mogwai’s numerous amps-up-to-11 moments began to bleed into one, so that even a snatch of effects-drenched vocal or the exotic twang of their closing adaptation of a jewish prayer sounded like sonic manna.

    fiona shepherd.

    from marceline smith:

    good last night in edinburgh, they were. i missed kling klang due to flatmate procrastinating about whether to go or not, and deciding not to just in time for me to get completely soaked on the 5 minute walk to the bus station. way to go edinburgh for moving their bus station to such a ridiculous place too. i ended up leaving half way through the encore and still nearly missed my bus.

    other than that, i had a great time. i found a box to stand on [okay, a raised seating area] so i could actually see the stage and enjoyed almost all the set. 'xmas steps' and 'mogwai fear satan' with precision loudness and, er, '2 rights..' i think [am definitely getting old, cannot remember any song titles at all] was just fantastic, with trouser flapping electronic bass stuff at the end, and then they just *stopped* and walked off. i was really hoping they wouldn't come back and do their usual boring encore but it looks like they did.

    best bit for me was stuart's beaming 'this is my fantastic loud guitar solo! i rock! woo!' face when they played, er, that one off the new album with the really loud guitar solo. and stuart's comedy moustache, obviously.

    would have liked more more quiet songs. more songs really. it all seemed really short though they played for well over an hour.