Mogwai Fear No-one

Seeing Mogwai is an experience. Those who turn up with ear plugs have the wrong idea. The Sk8r Bois who came along because they thought it’d be a cool mosh-fest retire to the back when they realise that Mogwai would tear Good Charlotte to pieces, and still have time to give NOFX a lesson in non-conformity. They open with ‘Helicon 1’, still looking like a group of Glaswegian reprobates who have somehow discovered the secret of music. The sound is something bigger than the band. They’re up there thrashing their guitars and going deaf, but there’s a sense that they’re not actually five musicians, they’re servants of a sound more beautiful and terrible than the sea. New material is slipped in amongst old favourites, the gentle melodies of Rock Action have not been recanted for their forthcoming album Happy Songs for Happy People. But it’s the segue from one of their new songs into ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’, almost unnoticed by the crowd until two or three minutes of the Young Team anthem has elapsed, that was undoubtedly the highlight. At times Stewart Braithwaite’s lead lines were swamped by the bass, but more often than not this was rectified at exactly the right moment. Patience is the key word with Mogwai. The encore seems to sum up the band. Starting with the beautiful ‘2 Wrongs Make 1 Right’ and then sweeping into the inevitable, but shortened rendition of ‘My Father My King’, Mogwai show that they can still make your ears bleed.
ARCHIVE: 4th week TT 2003