bright light ! gigs

mogwai @ pyramid stage, glastonbury festival, pilton, uk 27/06/03


  • you don't know jesus
  • hunted by a freak
  • helicon 1
  • kids will be skeletons
  • i know you are but what am i?
  • ratts of the capital
  • 2 rights make 1 wrong (aborted)
  • helicon 2 (not on setlist)
  • my father my king

    thanks to alan and clifton.

    john had amp problems at the start of '2 rights..' so an unscheduled 'helicon 2' was added instead. set length 55 mins.


    from clifton tully:

    tremendous performance! line-up included a cellist. they went into 'helicon 2' after some 'technical difficulties' as stuart said. he did seem quite nervous talking to the crowd. at the end of 'my father..', he was playing the strat off the on-stage running track for a camera rig. loved the show, one of their best, not as stunning as the first glasto (no light show this time). stuart had a canada hat on i think (yay! i'm from canada).

    from james gouldbourne:

    glastonbury: mogwai: tremendous

    ominous clouds poured overhead as mogwai began their set... as they played the final note of 'mfmk' blue skies fell into each other as the sun sat upon his throne to watch the mighty 'gwai...and beauty fell everywhere... and everybody stood motionless...

    the big fat tie wearing fuckers didn't know what had hit them.

    a sublime set by the greatest fucking band in the whole universe... has a band ever played such a song on the main stage at 5pm? hahahahh!! as the masses swayed to 'helicon 2', maybe they even thought about popping down to hmv in their insurance-nightmare-9-5 lunch hour to buy a cd... but no... 18 minutes later and the dumb-struck went to buy a sweaty burger as the awe-struck laughed at infinity...

    i actually heard one fat middle aged fucker say 'that band who were just on, the ones with no words, i thought they were okay until that last song... totally didnt work..'

    hahhahahah! you fat fuck, go watch radiohead and think you are suitably part of the counter culture! it was beautiful, for sure.

    everybody else was shite... except for interpol, who were fucking amazing... missed rem in a space cake overdose... radiohead were a huge disappointment.. bill bailey was as funny as ever... missed everyone else as wine, laughter and everything else that makes life worth living had intoxicted my soul.

    mogwai and falafals: are tremendous.

    thank fuck for this band.... we are the luckiest people on earth, as we hear with the ears of angels...


    mogwai come on mid-afternoon in blazing sunshine just as the depressive effects of all-day boozing and smoking kick in. their meandering, wordless post-rock is exactly right for this dozy, post-lunch slump and there’s a mass outbreak of having a nice lie down. they’re trying out the new stuff from 'happy songs for happy people' but it’s fair to say the majority of the crowd don’t notice. most people are content to lie back and watch little stuart fiddling with his effects pedals as mogwai’s music drifts round the field with the dope smoke.

    from dotmusic by ben gilbert:

    stuart braithwaite is on his knees. but these are not the actions of a beaten man. mogwai's chief lieutenant, on-all-fours, drags his screeching guitar across the floor of the pyramid stage and wounded notes jet into the huge space ahead of him, as these magicians of noise cast spells before the masses in the most unlikely of surroundings.

    this year, it will not be a gloomy final holocaust to the battered left-field heads. the sun is powering above us and a dazed but positively glowing crowd lie back to the symphonic anti-heroes, whose record titles say everything about their modus operandi and their unlikely position in 2003.

    this may still be the last bastion of free love, but these strung- out, emotive anthems of melancholic, ruptured thrills - as captured on the upside down-titled 'happy songs for happy people' and the more succinctly named 'rock action' and 'come on die young' - wash over the passive but eager mid-afternoon crowd.

    eschewing the abrupt, sharp turns of olde, mogwai build slowly, gently and fabulously elegantly between the broad sonic distance of a to b, ignoring sudden thunderstorms for gently imposing, kinetic layers of shifting clouds.

    monstrous takes on 'hunted by a freak', 'ratts of the capital' and a deranged, 20-minute, 'my father my king', represent the presentation of a new mogwai. a sound that once seemed so defined by darkness, wielding as much power beneath the glorious burning sun. an unlikely, but clearly impressive achievement.

    from the guardian:

    there could be a clear sky shining, or rain all around, it probably wouldn't matter to mogwai. the scots, true to form, barely said a word during their 45-minute set and marched off in silence at the end, leaving their guitars to deliver any feedback.

    yet no matter how many scowls or heavy chords on the fretboard they delivered, there was something tender about mogwai's music this teatime. the way they built their melodies gradually over the course of several minutes made their main man, stuart braithwaite, act as if in a trance and he took the crowd with him.

    there was even a bit of politics: the pyramid stage camera constantly flicking onto the "don't mess with texas" sticker on stuart's guitar.