Saturday, 26 February 2011

Gig review: Mogwai at the Regal Oxford Feb 2011

First post in my fishing blog will of course be a band review.

Mogwai at the Regal, Oxford.  23 Feb 2011

I confess I was not familiar with their music until I heard Glasgow band Mogwai on the radio doing songs from the new Album 'Hardcore will never die but you will'.  That is an excellent title for an album.  Indeed Mogwai are masters at song/album titles.  The lack of lyrics gives them freedom to come up with some excellent titles.  
A few of my favourites...

'Secret Pint'
'Come on Die Young'
'Scotland's Shame'
'Small Children in the background'
'George Square Thatcher Death party'
'I Love You, I'm Going to Blow Up Your School'
'Young Face Gone Wrong'

...and many, many more.

I liked what I heard, with 'Rano Plano' sticking in the mind, so I invited myself along to go with pals Dan and Helen to the gig on a Wednesday night.  
The Regal (a large converted cinema-bingo hall-nightclub) was to be the venue rather than the usual o2 Academy.  The reason for this could have been the louder soundsystem they have there.  It certainly wasn't for the beer.  I asked for a guinness and the guy opened a warm CAN of it and placed the plastic glass on a vibrating device that produced a head on the pint.  Stella was even more revolting.
And boy was it loud.  Mogwai, in the main, do slow deeply layered and distorted guitar/keyboard instrumental tunes.  While they could be said to be all much of a muchness I found their style to be right up my street.   EPIC is the best word to describe the music.  We arrived as they were well in to the first song and it got more and more epic as the night went on. You don't get a lot of vocals from Mogwai.  They did produce a chap who looked a bit like the guy out of Bloc Party for one song but the rest was instrumental.
I cannot name most of the songs being new to Mogwai but some reached some quite astonishing levels of Epic and made my hair stand on end.  This kind of music really does need to played very loud. 
Due to the slow pace of the music the crowd were not particularly lively with a dropped shoulder/head-nod every couple seconds being the main response but most people were well into it.
By the end I was a Mogwai convert and have spent this week listening to 'Hardcore will never die but you will' and the live album 'Special Moves'.
Its not for everyone but Mogwai have become a part of my musical world and I'm all the better for it.

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