It’s testament to the musical ambition of Mogwai that more than twenty-five years years after they started they can now sell out Manchester’s Albert Hall so fast a second date had to be added. Not bad for a band whose spellbinding tunes mostly consist of epic instrumentals with minimal vocals. Having recently spoken to Stuart Braithwaite from the band for our Mogwai Interview (click the link to have a read), we knew the band were as excited as we were about the live dates.

The band seem to be enjoying themselves from the moment they step on to the stage and launch into the first track on their most recent album ‘To The Bin My Friend, Tonight We Vacate Earth’ with its gentle opening refrains exploding into a huge mountain of sound, filling the huge ornate rafters of the Albert Hall, with the audience nodding heads, and even some raising arms aloft, which you’d expect from a band with anthemic sing-a-long choruses, which is seemingly a million miles away from what Mogwai do, or is it? As the opening bars of each tune are greeted with plenty of enthusiastic cheers, it’s clear that you don’t necessarily need words or familiar song structures to create an emotional and excited audience response, and that’s precisely why Mogwai are so good. From the delicately poised classic ‘Hunted By A Freak’ to the shimmering melodies of Richie Sacramento (yeah I know it has words and is a hugely catchy, but you get the point!). Elsewhere the huge waves of sound emanating from ‘Ratts Of The Capital’ and the extensive sprawling epic which is ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’ are a joy to behold. Guitarist and vocalist Stuart Braithwaite stands to the right of the stage, chatting occasionally to the crowd, Barry Burns providing keyboards and vocals to the rear of the stage, whilst occasionally venturing forward to give extra guitar power where needed, the thunderous drums and deep rumbling basslines of Martin Bulloch and Dominic Aitchison complete the picture. It’s an immense sound which easily veers from quiet as a mouse delicateness to a full blown jet engine roar. Ending with an astounding version of ‘My Father, My King’, Mogwai have once again proved you don’t need catchy choruses or sing-a-long chants to create stunning music, a melodic, intense, mind blowing gig from one of the best bands around.


From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.