Mono (Japan) – 4th October 2018 – Newcastle Cluny
Having spent most of the day telling people to get down early to see the amazing Jo Quail, I arrived (annoyingly!) just as she was closing her set. I last saw her perform in Leeds Brudenell with postrock legends Caspian. I was determined to get down early and catch her set, but instead, I spent the time waiting for public transport. I was disappointed, but I was consoled and very pleased to hear from friends who managed to catch her set, that she was phenomenal. Hopefully, there will be more changes to catch her remarkable cello, pedal hopping antics in future.
A Storm of Light from New York were next up on the tour bill and I must admit I know nothing of their work prior to this tour announcement. They played what was to be a nice loud wake-up call ahead of the headliners. With their spacey doom songs played in almost total darkness, a video projection provided a suitably Orwellian distressing atmosphere. Standing at the front the sheer power of the rhythm section was mightly impressive. This tour is proof that you should always check out all bands on the bill, not just the headliners. Such incredible acts!
I felt unprepared for just how stunning Mono would be in a live setting. They vastly surpassed anything I could have imagined. Their orchestral arrangements for guitar proved all the more impressive and dramatic in a live setting. The sheer volume was something quite startling yet thoroughly enjoyable. Certainly is the loudest gig of the year for me, standing a few feet from the bass stack probably didn’t help! That bass rumbled so loud, you could feel every note as it rattled your brain and body to the core. Just amazing.
Requiem for Hell was one of my favourite albums in 2016. That album found them moving in a more traditional post-rock direction. I’ve played that record to death. I had a sneaky look at the setlist as the band setup. I was very pleased to see the title track on the setlist!
The set closed on Ashes In The Snow as revealed by the beautiful glockenspiel motif makes way for some tremolo picked guitar builds a huge crescendo of guitar noise. The band leave the stage one by one, as guitarists Yoda and Taka are building walls of feedback with their pedalboards.
One of the loudest and most enjoyable gigs of 2018 for me. I feel very privileged to get to see them in Newcastle, I have waited to see them for years, but the opportunity never materialised. I’d have gladly travelled to see them perform. However, I feel the Cluny with it’s new and outrageously loud PA system is truly the perfect venue to see them perform. That’s another bucketlist band ticked off! What a night!!
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