Mogwai – 24th November 2018 – Leeds O2 Academy
Feature by Graeme J. Baty
Mogwai announced their final UK tour for 2018 and it came as a bit of a welcome surprise. This marks my third time seeing them this year, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen them over the years. That said, I still find myself getting incredibly excited when they tour. This one was extra special and unmissable due to the fact that my other favourite band The Twilight Sad are opening. That’s all the persuasion I needed, I grabbed some tickets on the presale and promised myself I’d just go as a punter and watch the band. As the show grew nearer I flip-flopped and decided I need to photo this show! There’s something hugely rewarding about photoing a band you’ve adored for years, it’s a buzz that I haven’t found elsewhere in life.
Since there was no Newcastle spot on the tour I decided to go for the 200-mile round trip to Leeds. I’m pleased to say it was worth it, the band are in remarkable form at the moment, recent soundtrack album Kin has proven a welcome addition to my record collection and they played one track from it tonight, the pop-rock gem of an earworm We’re Not Done is positively the catchiest thing they’ve ever released. I’ve had it in my head for about four days now! They follow that with the fantastic Party in the Dark, another hugely catchy song.
Don’t Believe the Fife is quickly becoming an all-time fave for me and it’s been pretty consistent in setlists since the beginning of the Every Country’s Sun tour. It lulls you into a steady mellow pace then right hooks you with a huge wall of guitar at the crescendo. Perfection.
- Yes! I Am a Long Way From Home
- Friend of the Night
- We’re Not Done
- Party in the Dark
- Old Poisons
- Crossing the Road Material
- Rano Pano
- Don’t Believe the Fife
- Auto Rock
- Every Country’s Sun
- Like Herod
- Helicon Pt1
- We’re No Here
One of the things I absolutely love about seeing Mogwai is the setlist surprises. Yes, there’s the standard songs that you expect to hear such as Remurdered but there’s an air of excitement with not knowing what treats you’ll get. So many classics from their back catalogue, it rewards the megafans who go to all the gigs.
Like Herod raises the hairs on the back of my neck as that bass line begins. Strobe lights pummel my senses, coupled with the sheer volume it’s an overwhelming experience, I close my eyes and with the strobes, I can see lights dancing on my eyelids, that’s a fantastic sensation. I really wish more bands would embrace lighting as part of the show experience, not too much mind, Mogwai have the balance about right. Light and sound, dark and bright, quiet and loud.
We’re No Here ends the night to great cheers from the crowd. Mogwai masterclass of no-nonsense performance, just letting the music speak for itself. This is the third time I’ve seen them this year and to be honest I wish I’d done more. I did head into this gig wondering if I’d be able to write anything, what more can say? Remarkable band. I head off back to Newcastle not content with that dosage I blast Mogwai all the way home!
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