Mogwai at the Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall buzzes with anticipation as Mogwai take to the stage in the wake of their eighth album release – Rave Tapes. Formed in Glasgow in the early 90s, Mogwai’s post-rock style has garnered a hugely devoted fan base and immense critical acclaim. Their instrumental soundscapes, filled with dark bass riffs, echoing synths and arching sustains, have carved out a steadfast place in the alt-rock genre.
At tonight’s concert a lilting Scottish folk tune leads us to our seats; vivid lights swamp the stage in ominous green and shocking strobes quiver with their intermittent blasts of stark, white light. The band enters, poised and stoic, handling their instruments with ease; only guitarist Stuart Braithwaite gives anything away, offering a few thank yous to the grateful audience and dancing in stiff movements.
Their mammoth sound, which rings out in grumbling peals of distorted electronics and fuzzy bass, fills the arena. It’s a cavernous sound full of contrasting textures and entwining discordant melodies. Analogue electronics and harsh percussive notes accent the growling guitars and throbbing beats, forcing us to delve into the steely depths of Mogwai’s atmospheric resonances.
The tracks played from Rave Tapes show a marked return to the dark cinematics and sobering serenity of Mogwai’s earlier work. Remurdered is a stealthy number, slinking between sinister riffs and circling synth arpeggios, forming steadily into a massive cocktail of sound that thunders out in throbbing waves. Deesh pulses with an eerie ghostliness, with big drums and shuddering analogue, and The Lord is Out of Control stuns with its hollow guitar chords and spectral amplification.
Big numbers such as San Paulo provide some triumphant crescendos, and crowd favourites Christmas Steps and Fear Satan stun with their bristling silences and sharp eruptions of noise.
Ultimately these well-seasoned performers give a dazzling show that catapults the audience through heady metallic heights and low, glowing electrics. This is music that incites, leaving our ears ringing and our musical palettes truly satisfied.
For further information and future events visit Mogwai’s website here.
Watch the video for Remurdered here: