mogwai @ wulfrun hall, wolverhampton, uk
thanks to andy parsons
yes! i am a long way from home
friend of the night
travel is dangerous
i know you are but what am i?
folk death 95
ratts of the capital
we're no here
hunted by a freak
mogwai fear satan
support from the magnificents.
birmingham post review (simon harper):
taking to the stage in matching green tracksuit tops, mogwai look just as likely to be found hanging around in shopping centres as bringing the noise.
fresh from the release of their latest opus, mr beast, the scottish quintet are in fine form having just started their latest uk tour. mixing new material with a host of favourites, mogwai seemingly hit their stride straight away. an entirely different prospect on stage, the glaswegian five-piece are perfectly at home in the live arena, where their slow-building compositions really come alive.
built around beatific melodies and seismic shifts in volume, mogwai's modus operandi has always been to create largely wordless lullabies, straddling the divide between funereal swells and eruptions of noise. early songs such as 'yes! i am a long way from home' and 'ithica' are met with ripples of acknowledgement. the breakneck thrust of 'glasgow mega-snake', taken from their latest full-length, is greeted like an old friend.
there's little interaction between the band and the audience, except stuart braithwaite bemoaning his inability to tell jokes in between songs, and multi-instrumentalist barry burns urging a randy couple at the front to "get a room". apart from these uncharacteristic displays of communication, braithwaite and co merely pause to thank the throngs of fans who stand in hushed reverence while letting mogwai's crashing wall of sound wash over them.
of the new songs, perhaps the most effective is 'we're no here' - a bludgeoning cacophony which squalls in all of the right places, it seems custom-built for live performances, especially given the band's recent comments that they had deliberately written some louder songs that would be fun to play on tour. fittingly, they end with 'mogwai fear satan', arguably still their finest moment to date. it sees a two-way duel between melody and earsplitting noise, with a triumvirate of straining guitars being barely pulled back from the brink of chaos.
there's only one real victor though - that's mogwai, and long may it stay that way.
from richard moreton:
i recorded mogwai's recent live radio 1 performance at maida vale and stuck a cd of it on ebay (without any mark-up i might add - just enough to cover costs!). needless to say, before long barry had contacted ebay and asked them to remove it.
knowing he was monitoring mogwai stuff, i decided to wind him up by knocking together a quick jpeg of an 'imaginary' t-shirt in the 'blur: are shite' style saying 'mogwai: were good before barry burns joined'
and listing it on ebay for a fiver, never expecting it to actually sell.
i had two enquiries from ordinary punters who wanted to buy it, but the biggest surprise came when martin bulloch contacted me and said that he thought it was really funny and he wanted four for him, stuart, dominic
and john to wear on stage one night (without barry's prior knowledge).
so i made the shirts and it all came to fruition at the wolverhampton gig on friday night, although for some reason john wasn't wearing his. don't know whether they'll wear them again at any point.
i haven't heard yet what barry thought of the whole thing!
from andy smith:
bloody good gig. the sound was a bit nice mind, not enough 'umph! it was a great turnout. nice lightshow too.
from iain eglinton:
points of note:
the whole band were in the green adidas 'myt' logo tracksuit tops to start the set.
john spent most of the set sitting down
false start on friend of the night
stuart still says he doesn't know any jokes to say in pre-song gaps!
a couple at the front seemed to spend most of helicon 1 snogging causing much on stage hilarity. at the end of the song barry joked for them to 'go and get a room!'
the set was dedicated by stuart to brightlight's own rob strong
it was an awesome show from start to finish!
click on the image for larger version.
photos by iain eglinton.