Upon entering the stately confines of The Tivoli, we are greeted by the ambient wash of sound emanating from support act Mick Turner of Dirty Three fame, his skeletal, broken-down cascading guitar-scapes the perfect lead in for the pending storm clouds of sound looming on the horizon…
Once prime viewing positions are assumed and hatches are battened down, it’s then the turn of the post-rock behemoth that is Mogwai to descend upon the gathering of devoted with their epic wall of sound.
This bunch of unassuming Scots pedal an extreme brand of volume, the type that rattles bones and vibrates through the very core of ones being…a realigning of the musical shakras if one was to pitch it in spiritual terms. Their epic, stately, largely instrumental songs are exercises in mood and volume, their tension and release musical blueprint blowing eardrums, minds and the roof off the venue in equal measure.
Fan favourite I’m Jim Morrison I’m Dead, from 2008’s The Hawk is Howling album, makes an early appearance, it’s crescendo-ascending build up forming the blueprint of tonight’s musical modus operandi.
Impressive new selections Deesh, Remurdered and Heard About You Last Night, from most recent album Rave Tapes, slot seamlessly into the set, interspersed with a prime selection of back catalogue tracks of the calibre of Rano Pano and 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong.
At one stage of the evening I head up upstairs for a birds eye view of the action. Diminutive in stature only, prime musical conductor Stuart Braithwaite plays guitar with an array of 15 effects pedals aligned in front of him…and this is on the right hand side of the stage only, with as many again positioned to the centre and left of stage..a wall of pedals to match the wall of sound emanating from the stage.
The set concludes with high watermark moments Hunted By A Freak, all eerie vocoder and near religious sound swells, followed by long time epic closer Mogwai Fear Satan, the last third of the song unleashing the ultimate distillation of very very quiet exploding to very very loud, the ecstasy etched on the faces of many as the tsunami of sound crashes down a sight to behold.
For the encore the band unfurl Auto Rock, the lead off track from the sublime Mr Beast album, before going out in a blaze of glory with the epic Batcat, strobe lights now visually bombarding the aural overload. At the end of it all the crowd stand satiated, exhilarated and cleansed. Mogwai may fear Satan, but on the sheer visceral power of their tidal wave of sound, satan may very well fear Mogwai…