Glasgow's finest sons, Mogwai, will be making a triumphant return to their spiritual home, The Barrowlands Ballroom, this coming Saturday night (23/09). The Barrowlands is a legendary venue in not only Glasgow, but the UK. It is simply the best venue for live music I have ever been to.
This will also be the third time I have seen Mogwai perform in less than a year. But, I must admit, I am looking foward to it more than ever.
The last time I witnessed their live spectacle was during Scotland's Triptych Festival last April, at Edinburgh's cavernous Usher Hall. This venue is more suited for symphonies than rock bands, but Mogwai nearly tore the whole building down with the sheer volume. The mighty 'gwai blew us all away that night. Drafting in am extra guitarist on that occasion (Four guitarists in total on stage at some points), they played a devastating set, starting with "Auto Rock
" and ending with monlithic live favourite "We're No Here
" (followed by 20 minutes of ear-piercing feedback).
For three days after, all I could here was a high-pitched buzzing noise in my ears. People that night had to put their fingers in their ears because they couldn't take the ferocity of the wall of sound coming from the stage (not me though!). I am not even a new fan, in fact this Saturday will be my 11th Mogwai gig. My friend once described them as "face-melting". He wasn't wrong!
Gladly, my hearing impairment subsided before I got too worried. But now, I can't wait for more of the same.
The first time I ever heard Mogwai was in Merchant City Music, a guitar shop in Glasgow, in late 1996. While browsing through guitars I couldn't afford, I asked the owner who was playing on his stereo."It's "Summer
" by Mogwai" he replied. "They're from Glasgow"
Fast-foward a couple of months, and at 15 I was off to my first T In The Park Festival. Browsing through the line-up, I noticed Mogwai were playing early on the Saturday and on the smallest stage. I made sure I was there to see this band that had impressed me all those months ago. My jaw was agape for most of this performance as I witnessed them rip through tracks such as "Helicon 1
", almost laying waste to the tent that covered the arena. I had been a bit of a metal fan when I was younger, but this was the loudest
thing I had ever heard.
I was immediately converted. When I returned from the festival, the first chance I got, I went out a bought their "Superheroes of BMX
" ep. On first listen, though, I was disappointed. It wasn't like their live show at all.
This is something I have came to understand about Mogwai. It is impossible for them to do themselves justice on record. Their live show is just such a jaw-dropping experience and one that I will never tire of. This, though, is a hallmark of a great band.
I have since grown to love the "Superheroes..."
ep as I realised there was a lot more intricate aspects to this band, than just loud aural blasts of noise.
There are a few songs I am hoping to hear on Saturday, so if any of the guys read this, please take them into consideration:"Helicon 1"
: this is probably the finest instrumental track ever written, in my opinion. It doesn't need violins, electronics or a brass section. Just the beautiful melody and, of course, that
stunning climax. This song spawned a 1000 copyists, who could never touch it."Hugh Dallas"
: Celtic fans will know what this number is all about. I am a huge Celtic fan, as are Mogwai. We are playing Rangers a couple of hours before the gig. I would love to celebrae a victory to this song."Folk-Death 95"
- "Mr Beast
" has been one of the best records of 2006, this is my favourite track from it"."Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep"
- well this blog is named after this song, you know!."Hunted By A Freak"
- not one of my favourite tracks on record, but live at the Usher Hall gig, it was outstanding."Mogwai Fear Satan"
- The definative
Mogwai song. An near 20 minute monster, complete with a captivating flute and epic build-ups."Summer"
- the song that started it all for me."We're No Here"
- This is almost apocalyptic sounding and is probably responsible for deafness last time round. An absolute cert to finish of the Barrowlands set.Maybe I have missed some tracks out, what would you like to hear at a Mogwai gig? Leave your comments.
If for some inexplicable reason, you have never heard Mogwai before, then go and listen here